Laurie Colwin

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Laurie Colwin (June 14, 1944 – October 24, 1992) was an American writer who wrote five novels, three collections of short stories and two volumes of essays and recipes.[1] She was known for her portrayals of New York society and her food columns in Gourmet magazine. In 2012, the James Beard Foundation inducted her into its Cookbook Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

Colwin was born in Manhattan, New York City, and grew up in Lake Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, Philadelphia and Chicago,[1] the second child of Estelle Colwin (née Woolfson) and Peter Colwin. In Philadelphia, she attended the Cheltenham High School,[2] which inducted her posthumously into its Hall of Fame in 1999.[citation needed]


From an early age, Colwin was a prolific writer. Her work first appeared in The New Yorker[citation needed] and, in 1974, her first collection of short stories was published.[2] She was a regular contributor to Gourmet magazine and had articles in Mademoiselle, Allure, and Playboy. Her non-fiction books (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking) are collections of essays, and are as much memoirs as cookbooks. In the foreword to Home Cooking, Colwin wrote: "Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers. In my kitchen I rely on Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, the numerous contributors to The Charleston Receipts, and Margaret Costa (author of an English book entitled The Four Seasons Cookery Book),"[3]

In 2012, Colwin was posthumously inducted into the Cookbook Hall of Fame the James Beard Foundation.[4]


Her published works include Passion and Affect (1974), Shine on, Bright and Dangerous Object (1975), Happy All the Time (1978), The Lone Pilgrim (1981), Wet (1974), Family Happiness (1982), Another Marvelous Thing (1988), Home Cooking (1988), Goodbye without Leaving (1990), More Home Cooking (1993), and A Big Storm Knocked It Over (1993). The PBS series American Playhouse adapted Colwin's short story An Old-Fashioned Story as a 90-minute film retitled Ask Me Again,[5] which aired February 8, 1989.

Her last two books, More Home Cooking and A Big Storm Knocked It Over, were published posthumously. She also appears in Nancy Crampton's 2005 book of photography, Writers, which features Crampton's portraits of various literary figures.

Personal life[edit]

In 1983, Colwin married Juris Jurjevics (died 2018), who was a novelist and cofounder of Soho Press.[4] They had one child, RF Jurjevics,[6] who became a technology professional and writer-illustrator.

Colwin died unexpectedly in 1992, in Manhattan, from an aortic aneurysm at the age of 48.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Lambert, Bruce (October 26, 1992). "Laurie E. Colwin, 48, a Novelist And Short Story Writer, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Patrick, Bethanne (2021-09-13). "In Celebration of Laurie Colwin's Lost Manhattan". Literary Hub. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  3. ^ Colwin, Laurie. 2010. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, Vintage Books, ISBN 9780307474414
  4. ^ a b Roberts, Sam (2018-11-09). "Juris Jurjevics, Enterprising Publisher and Novelist, Dies at 75". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  5. ^ "Ask Me Again Television show - Ask Me Again TV Show - Yahoo! TV". Archived from the original on 2011-05-17.
  6. ^ Jurjevics, RF (2019-03-25). "To My Mom, Who Wrote For Allure About Parenting Me in 1991". Allure. Retrieved 2023-06-22.