Posts in L.A. Review of Books
A Review: Eating Wildly

Outside my grandparents’ home was a walnut tree. It stood uncomfortably close to their front picture window, creating an off-putting darkness that I tried to escape. When I walked from the sidewalk to the front door, I gingerly stepped around its detritus: thickly hulled green orbs that dropped from its branches and rolled around. They would get crushed, blacken, and, eventually, open to reveal a magical wrinkly nut. My memory holds the walnuts there, even though I’m sure the tree did not produce nuts every year of my childhood. There are other plants I remember too: olallieberries grew in the backyard, thickly covering a red fence. The word seemed plucked from a Dr. Seuss book. I thought they had made it up because, well, the berries looked exactly like blackberries. Over that red fence I could see a slide that went into what must have been a pool. This was the San Fernando Valley. This was my early life. Despite the messy debris, it felt urban, clean.

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