The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry
Author Kathleen Flinn
Country United States
Language English
Subject Autobiography
Publisher Viking Press, paperback Penguin Books
Publication date
October 4, 2007
Pages 327
ISBN 0-670-01822-8
Followed by The Kitchen Counter Cooking School (2011)

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School is a New York Times best-selling memoir with recipes by American writer Kathleen Flinn. It was first published by the Viking Press on October 4, 2007, ISBN 0-670-01822-8.[1]

In this non-fiction narrative, the 36-year-old author loses her corporate job, cashes in her savings and heads to Paris to study at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.[2] It is notable in being the first book-length account of the experience of attending the famous school.[3] Throughout the book, Flinn intersperses dozens of recipes, accounts of her "wretchedly inadequate" French, stories of competitive classmates and the love story of her emerging relationship with her husband. Early in the book, she shares that she began dreaming of attending the famous cooking school while writing obituaries at The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.[4] The Seattle Times referred to the book "a very personal memoir of transformation, as well as an insider's look at Le Cordon Bleu, the first of its kind."[5] The book earned generally positive reviews on its debut and earned a spot on The New York Times bestseller list as well as being included on numerous "best of" lists for 2007. The film rights to the work were purchased by a television division of 20th Century Fox in 2008.[6]

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry was a Finalist for the Washington State Book Award in General Nonfiction in 2008.[7] It has since been translated into nine[which?] languages.[citation needed]


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