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Julie Powell Turns to Sex, Butchering, Buffy

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In case the Julie Powell appearances on the endless promo train for Julie & Julia weren't enough, there will be opportunities aplenty to see her come December. That's because the blogger-turned-author's new book, Cleaving, is on its way to the presses. Can't wait until the holiday season to learn of Powell's latest exploits? Luckily, Eater has obtained an early copy.

Rather then tackling the recipes of another famous chef, Powell has decided to write a book entirely devoted to art of butchering (paging Bill Buford) and her marital problems. But now that she's gone all Hollywood, it's filled with sex! Now she's "Steamroller Julie," noting that that's "how I got my husband, how I got my new career." Also on the list of things already suspected? "I'm a hack. I aspire to hackhood."

When she's not referencing cult TV shows (there are over half a dozen mentions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the first 100 pages) Powell spends about half of the books' remaining 320 pages graphically detailing her affair with another man, "D," in passages like this one:

We occasionally indulged in phone sex [...] We never talked dirty during these phone sessions. Instead we made a game out of hearing each other, trying to time ourselves to each other. This was a much more challenging game for me than for D, basically because I'm a shitty poker player. No matter how stealthy I tried to be, I'd always throw him a moan, an "oh fuck," the ragged, stuttering little gasp he knew meant that I was there at the edge. Whereas I had nothing to go on but the tiny catch in the breath, the quickening of that wet slapping sound that barely reached the receiver.

And this one:

He slapped my ass, bit me, hard, left bruises all over my body that I had to take care to hide, dark and mottled and as distinct in shape as the bites taken out of surfboards by sharks. He had figured me out.

But what happens when Powell gets around talking about butchering, the focus of the book? Butchers become sexy butchers:

I'm attracted to a butcher's intimate knowledge [...] most of all, I'm attracted to his authority. There's an absolute sureness to a butcher [...] he is more certain of mean than I've ever been about anything. It strikes me as intoxicatingly exotic, like nothing I've ever experienced."

One can only guess what the late Julia Child would think of all this. Maybe something along the lines of, "this is the stocking stuffer I've been waiting for?"
—Matt Duckor
· Cleaving [Amazon]
· All Julie and Julia Coverage [~E~]

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