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Julie Powell, ‘Julie & Julia’ screenwriter, dies at 49 : NPR


Author Julie Powell attends the premiere of ‘Julie & Julia’ at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on July 30, 2009.

Peter Kramer/AP


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Julie Powell, 'Julie & Julia' screenwriter, dies at 49 : NPR

Author Julie Powell attends the premiere of ‘Julie & Julia’ at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on July 30, 2009.

Peter Kramer/AP

NEW YORK — Food writer Julie Powell, who became an internet darling after blogging for a year about making all the recipes for Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” leading to a contract book and a film adaptation, has passed away. She was 49 years old.

Powell died of cardiac arrest on October 26 at her home in upstate New York, The New York Times reported. His death was confirmed by Judy Clain, Powell’s email and editor of Little, Brown.

“She was a brilliant writer and a bold, original person and she will not be forgotten,” Clain said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Julie, whether personally or through the deep bonds she forged with readers of her memoirs.”

Powell’s 2005 book “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” became the Nora Ephron-directed hit film “Julie & Julia”, with the author portrayed in the film by Amy Adams and Meryl Streep as a child.

His second and final effort – titled “Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession” – was a little shocking in its honesty. Powell revealed that she had an affair, the pain of loving two men at once, her penchant for sadomasochism and even a bout of self-punishing sex with a stranger.

“People coming from the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ and picking up ‘Cleaving’ are going to get an emotional boost,” she told The Associated Press in 2009. “I don’t believe it’s going to be a Nora Ephron movie.

Powell began her affair in 2004 when she was putting the finishing touches on her first book, a time she wrote when she was “starry-eyed and vaguely discontented and had too much free time”.

In 2006, she landed an apprenticeship at a butcher shop two hours north of New York City, which offered her an escape from her crumbling marriage and a place to explore her childhood curiosity with butchers.

“The way they held a knife in their hand was like an extension of themselves,” she said. “I’m a very clumsy person. I don’t play sports. That kind of physical skill is really foreign to me, and I’m really envious of it.”

The book explores the connection between butchery and his own tortured romantic life. At one point, cutting connective tissue from a pig’s foot, she wrote: “It’s sad, but also a relief, to know that two things so closely related can come apart with so little violence, leaving smooth surfaces instead of bloody shreds. .”

Her book tapped into the growing interest in old-fashioned butchery and her experience of slicing meat actually led her to eat less of it. She stood for animals raised and slaughtered humanely.

“People want to get their hands dirty. People want to be part of the process. People want to know where their food comes from,” Powell said. “People don’t want mystery anymore.”

She is survived by her husband, Eric.

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