Reporter’s new memoir chronicles her rare friendship with 93-year-old man

Brooklyn BookBeat: Author to Speak in Cobble Hill May 25

May 9, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Isabel Vincent will speak about her book at BookCourt on May 25. Photo: © Bill Ray
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Isabel Vincent, an award-winning journalist, met 93-year-old Edward at just the right moment. Her marriage was in tumult, he had just lost his wife of 69 years, and both were unknowingly in need of something they’d forgotten existed: the sheer joy of a spontaneous connection. Over the course of weekly dinners, Isabel and Edward developed the kind of friendship found so rarely in life, and she vividly recounts this remarkable relationship in her new memoir “Dinner with Edward: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship” (Algonquin Books May 24).

Vincent will speak about her book at BookCourt in Cobble Hill (163 Court St.) on May 25 at 7 p.m.

“I was inspired to write of my encounter with an ordinary man who was extraordinary in every way,” said the author. Each week, Edward, a self-taught cook, makes elegant dinners from scratch — flounder poached in vermouth with a sauce fumet; pan-fried potatoes with Gruyere; silky, melt-in-your-mouth apricot soufflé with freshly whipped cream. All the while, Edward imparts to Isabel his cooking secrets, such as the perfect pastry recipe (“Butter and a little bit of lard in the dough, darling”), and his well-earned advice (“There is somewhere someone who will feel lucky knowing you. And if lucky enough, loving you”).

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Each chapter in this true-life tale begins with dinner at Edward’s Roosevelt Island apartment, and, like his meals, the whole adds up to so much more than the ingredients. With Ella Fitzgerald crooning in the background, the Manhattan skyline twinkling across the river, this unlikely pair discusses everything from Isabel’s often funny scrapes as an investigative reporter to her love life, to Edward’s wise thoughts on marriage, books and beauty. By making everyday meals a special occasion, Edward and Isabel create an enchanted world in which both rediscover their zest for living. And as Isabel discovers how Edward has savored his 93 years, she begins to create a fuller, more inviting life for herself.

Isabel Vincent is an investigative reporter for the New York Post. Previously, she was a foreign correspondent based in Rio de Janeiro and before that she covered the conflicts that led to the war in Kosovo. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers all over the world, including the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, L’Officiel and Time. She lives in New York.


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