Rewriting the Domestic Sphere


recipe writing
food studies

How to Cite

Cirina, Lauren. 2019. “Rewriting the Domestic Sphere”. Brolly 2 (1), 43-62.


This paper explores the relationship between imagined narrative and recipe writing, largely through the lens of an “embedded discourse”, a term first coined by Susan J. Leonardi, in which she accounts for the social and cultural contexts that a recipe was born out of, and thus possesses. The author examines Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Buttons” and “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" to demonstrate that when both texts interact with each other, a new hybrid literary style is achieved. When put in conversation with one another, these modernist works bridge the gap between past and present, between public and private spheres of authorship, and between women’s lives as they wrote them and our interpretations of the documents they left behind. Moreover, this paper will prove that recipe writing was not merely used as a mechanism for sustenance, but also as a space to depict marginalized images of love and sexuality through the practice of cooking and cookbook writing.