Emily Addams, foodie professor of women’s studies at Arbor State, finds herself an unlikely suspect in the poisoning of a man she barely knows—Professor Peter Elliott of Plant Biology, the hot shot developer of a new genetically engineered corn. How did her cornbread end up in his hand as he lay on the smelly muck of the university’s historic pig pen? In a quest to find the real culprit, Emily and her multicultural network discover some of the dark secrets of a university that is itself tainted by corporate values.
A satiric novel about the struggle between communal and market forces in academia—and, by implication, the globe, Oink maintains that communities based on pleasure, mutual care, and a thirst for social justice still have power to improve our private lives and public worlds.
In the spirit of community, each chapter of OINK ends with a sumptuous recipe for a dish that turned up in the preceding pages. Culminating in a twist as curvy as a pig’s tail, OINK: A FOOD FOR THOUGHT MYSTERY is at once a sly send-up of the corporatized university and a reminder of why community belongs at that heart of human life.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I thought it was an inspiring story about the power of community to improve personal and public life. I also wanted to suggest that in forming communities one needs to work on the relationship, to exercise an ethic of care that involves acts of friendship and support, and to consciously incorporate humor, playfulness, and pleasure– most especially the pleasure of sharing food.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I did base several characters on real life people whom I fictionalized. One of them was me. Other characters, especially the less savory ones, were compendiums of people or of characteristics I had encountered in my career as an academic.
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