Sisters & food Ritual
A Moveable Feast with Daisy Johnson
On Tuesday 15th December, we welcomed Booker Prize-shortlisted writer Daisy Johnson to a virtual event. Daisy is the author of the short story collection Fen, winner of the Edge Hill short story prize; Everything Under, a novel reimagining the Oedipus myth, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and Sisters, published in August by Jonathan Cape. This mesmerising story of two teenage sisters who are unusually, perhaps dangerously close, uses foreshadowing, flashbacks and a steady accrual of images to build a powerful sense of menace. It's an unsettling novel, but also a moving one: about grief, trauma and abusive relationships.
Daisy Johnson has also contributed to a collection of food writing, In the Kitchen, and her essay explores the power of food rituals to anchor and bind us.
© Pollyanna Johnson
She read an excerpt from Sisters, and discussed its roots in the horror tradition; influences including Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Helen Oyeyemi, Sarah Hall and Kelly Link; taboos around motherhood; the invasive forces of nature; food as a means to control; the dynamics of a country pub; and why she always lets readers make their own minds up. She recommended non-fiction by Elena Ferrante and Shirley Jackson, Caleb Femi's poetry, and horror films such as Get Out. Many thanks to Daisy Johnson.