Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nigella Throws out Her Books and Opens a New Chapter; HOUSE CLEARANCE SHOP SERVES UP THE LITERARY SECRETS OF DOMESTIC GODDESS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nigella Throws out Her Books and Opens a New Chapter; HOUSE CLEARANCE SHOP SERVES UP THE LITERARY SECRETS OF DOMESTIC GODDESS

Article excerpt

Byline: ED HARRIS

IT'S something we've all done at key moments in our lives. Getting married or moving house is often the perfect opportunity to shed the trappings of our old selves. For some it means chucking out clothes gathering dust at the back of the wardrobe. For others it means throwing away books read years - if not decades - ago and left on the shelf.

Now, it appears, domestic goddess Nigella Lawson is no exception.

She has given away nearly 200 of her paperbacks to a house clearance shop and provided a fascinating glimpse into her tastes - both literary and culinary.

A battered copy of Fat Is A Feminist Issue, the classic feminist work, sits on a shelf next to a book of recipes by Keith Floyd.

A Penguin Classics Charles Dickens shares space with a gaudily packaged novel by a "chick lit" author.

Perhaps fearing the publicity if she was rumbled donating them to a shop near her home in Mayfair - where she now lives with husband Charles Saatchi after leaving her family house in Shepherd's Bush - Lawson, 40, had her old library disposed of in the relative obscurity of Wandsworth Road.

If there is any theme in the diverse titles she gave away, it is feminism.

Keen-eyed bargain hunters can snap up, for 50p or [pounds sterling]1, her copy of Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic Of Sex (a key work of new feminism from the Seventies), Literary Women, by Ellen Moers, or Gisela Ecker's Feminist Aesthetics. Did Lawson - whose curves have assumed a "have-theyshrunk, have-they-grown"? life of their own - finally tire of the stern feminist line?

"I like to think that men like their women to be shapely," she said last week, at the first anniversary of Saatchi's modern art gallery in County Hall.

And what is A Feast Of Floyd doing there? The slender promotional giveaway features such unfashionable fare as spaghetti with meatballs and breast of chicken stuffed with spinach and mushroom. It's not exactly roast pumpkin, radicchio and feta salad.

Here too is Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman - although it's a novel, not a cookbook.

But rather less desiccated titles are also available. …

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