Alone in London last spring, I took Grégoire Bouillier’s short book “The Mystery Guest” to my favorite restaurant, propping it up over my baba ghanouj, chorizo and tortilla. I slurped mansaf soup between page turns and crumbled bits of yogurt pistachio cake into the book’s gutters, simultaneously finishing my meal and the story. It was a lovely date. A week later, at the Hay Festival, a literary gathering in Hay-on-Wye, the writer A. A. Gill was asked who his ideal dinner companion would be. His reply: “One of the great joys is to go to a restaurant you can’t afford and sit and eat with a book.” This led me to wonder whom other authors were taking to dinner, so I asked a few of my favorites.
- Leanne Shapton, The New York Times
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