Monday, August 3, 2009

Cookbook Bios Offer Taste of Developing Talent

To recognize the development of Anna Thomas' talent, we first turn to her success as an author of vegetarian cookbooks, beginning with her first which was published in 1972. By comparing three bios presented in her cookbooks, we develop a sense of how she emerged as a writer, film producer, and director of feature films.

The Vegetarian Epicure

"Anna Thomas was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1948, and came to this country as a child. She has been a student most of her life--for the past four years at UCLA in the film department, where she is now producing and directing her third short film. She has supported her interest in film-making by writing press releases, working as a waitress, clerking, modeling--and writing a cookbook. She is strongly committed to the women's liberation movement and has been involved in its activities." (Random House. NY. 1972)

The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two

"Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1948, Anna Thomas came to this country as a child. After graduating from UCLA she continued to study for several years there in the film department. Her first book, The Vegetarian Epicure, was written during that period, both out of the need to support herself as a young film-maker and to provide herself and her friends with a more exciting repetoire of vegetarian recipes than had ever been collected before. The phenomenal success of that book has enabled Anna Thomas to further her career as a writer, producer, and director of films (she has recently finished her first feature film, shot in Scotland), and to expand her culinary horizons through much travel, tasting, and testing of new recipes. In 1975 she married a film producer with whom she has collaborated, and they make their home in Los Angeles." (Alfred A. Knopf. NY. 1994. First printing, 1978.)

The New Vegetarian Epicure

"Anna Thomas wrote her first cookook, The Vegetarian Epicure, while she was a film student at UCLA, and followed it a few years later with The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two. When she is not cooking, she writes screenplays and produces films. Her screen credits include My Family, Mi Familia and El Norte, both of which were nominated for an Academy Award. She lives in Ojai, California, with her husband, Gregory Nava, and their two sons." (Alfred A. Knopf. NY. 2000. First printing, 1996.)