Book excerpt: "Table for Two" by Amor Towles

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Amor Towles, nan novelist down nan world bestseller "A Gentleman successful Moscow," returns pinch "Table for Two" (Viking), an irresistible postulation of short stories and a novella flavored pinch wit, intrigue, and a dash of bitter fate.

Read an excerpt below, successful which nan sacrosanct vacation of Thanksgiving is pierced pinch immoderate bitter truths that conscionable mightiness beryllium difficult to swallow.  

"Table for Two" by Amor Towles

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That Thanksgiving has evolved complete hundreds of years into a nationalist vacation of eating is alternatively ironic fixed nan value of Thanksgiving food. Stuffing and roasting a twenty-pound turkey is, without a doubt, nan worst imaginable measurement to bask a crippled bird. The full conception of eating a crippled vertebrate is to savor those subtleties of spirit that elude nan domesticated hen. Partridge, pheasant, quail are each birds that tin beryllium prepared successful various ways to delight nan senses; but a corn-fed turkey that's large capable to service a gathering of 10 aliases much is virtually intolerable to navigator pinch finesse. The breasts will inevitably go arsenic barren arsenic sawdust by nan clip nan remainder of nan vertebrate has vanished cooking. Stuffing only exacerbates this problem by insulating nan soul nutrient from nan effects of heat, frankincense prolonging nan damage. The intrinsic situation of roasting a turkey has led to each mode of culinary abominations. Cooking nan vertebrate upside down, a mentation successful which nan tegument becomes a pale, soggy mess. Spatchcocking, successful which nan vertebrate is drawn and quartered for illustration a heretic. Deep frying! (Heaven thief us.) Give maine an unstuffed four-pound chickenhearted immoderate day. Toss a portion of lemon, a sprig of rosemary, and a clove of ail into nan quiet cavity, roast it astatine 425˚  for sixty minutes aliases until aureate brown, and you will person a cleanable meal clip and again.

The limitations of choosing a twenty-pound turkey arsenic nan centerpiece of nan Thanksgiving repast person only been compounded by nan inexplicable contented of having each personnel of nan family lend a dish. Relatives who should ne'er beryllium allowed to group ft successful a room are abruptly stepping done your doorway pinch immoderate benignant of rootlike casserole successful which nan "secret ingredient" is mayonnaise. And erstwhile relative Betsy arrives pinch specified a mishap successful hand, 1 tin return nary comfortableness from thoughts of nan future, for erstwhile a azygous personification politely compliments nan dish, its beingness astatine Thanksgiving will beryllium deemed sacrosanct. Then not moreover nan decease of relative Betsy tin prevention you from it, because arsenic soon arsenic she's successful nan grave, her girl will proudly prime up nan baton.

Served astatine an inconvenient hour, prepared by specified an service of chefs that half nan dishes are overcooked, half are undercooked, and each are served cold, Thanksgiving is not a repast for a man who eats pinch discernment. So, I had rather happily excused myself from nan contented backmost successful 1988, thereafter celebrating nan Pilgrims' first wintertime astatine a Chinese edifice connected Lexington Avenue.

But successful nan section of good art, 1 must beryllium prepared to make sacrifices. And if helping Peter spot nan benefits of divesting his coating meant eating a serving of saccharine potatoes covered successful marshmallows, past truthful beryllium it. I awaited his telephone successful a sanguine mood.

From "Table for Two" by Amor Towles, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a section of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Amor Towles.

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  • "Table for Two" by Amor Towles (Viking), successful Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats
  • Book excerpt: "A Gentleman successful Moscow" by Amor Towles
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