Anthony Bourdain’s planning a pair of defections. The first is from his current publisher, Bloomsbury, to one who’s hungry for his next 3 books.
According to MediaBistro, The Ecco Press, which published Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour in paperback, will be producing Cooks, Tony’s sequel to KC.
Cooks will chronicle changes in Tony’s life and the culinary world since his days behind a restaurant stove. He says it’s going to be “More about who is cooking in America than what’s cooking,” and no doubt he’ll tackle it with plenty of trademark snark. (5/6/08 Update: Book’s due out in Fall 2009)
I hope he’ll also delve into the apparent mid-life madness that catapulted him into first-time fatherhood and marriage to Ottavia Busia and enlighten us on what that’s all about.
He’s also working on new crime novel called No New Messages. It will feature a novelist and a chef on the skids (Tony’s alter-egos?) recuperating in the Caribbean, but getting sucked into Bourdain’s signature brand of underworld mayhem.
I love his novels. I’m so glad he’s still writing that stuff!
The third book involves the second defection. Tony apparently intends to follow through on his dream of becoming an expat, and the result will be A Year in Provence with chopsticks, an on-the-spot memoir about what happens when he moves his family to a small village in Vietnam for a year.
At least he’s stopped talking about losing himself in Southeast Asia permanently, but once he’s there, who knows?
Somehow, it’s hard to picture feisty Ottavia as a dutiful Asian-style wife, and I wonder what will happen to No Reservations. Will he take a year’s sabbatical, or will the wife and toddler string along whenever he films new episodes? I can’t see Ottavia staying in the sticks while he romps through more cosmopolitan settings, and her presence seems to subdue his spontaneity and joie de vivre. Either way, I’m afraid that transferring home base to Vietnam will doom the series.
Tony probably knows he’s basically a one-trick pony when it comes to TV fame, so maybe he’s wise to start putting his eggs in his more diverse literary basket. If so, he’ll be remembered as the Somerset Maugham of the 21st century.