At the age of 49, Julie Powell, a gourmet writer best known for her enormously successful novel “Julie & Julia,” passed away suddenly.
According to the New York Times, the best-selling novelist passed unexpectedly last Wednesday at her home in Olivebridge, New York, following a heart arrest. Her husband, brother, and parents are all still alive.
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Following the publication of “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” a satirical chronicle of Powell’s attempt to recreate every recipe from Julia Child’s renowned cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Powell became a literary celebrity.
More than a million copies of the book were sold, and Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep adapted it into a movie in 2009. Powell was portrayed by Oscar contender Amy Adams in the popular film, which brought in close to $130 million at the box office.
According to Judy Clain, Powell’s editor, “She had such creativity and emotional understanding.” The writer’s terrible demise on Tuesday was reported for the first time by the publication.
Powell attended Amherst College and received his degree in 1995. He was born and raised in Austin, Texas.
Powell started blogging in 2002 when feeling lost and worried she wouldn’t succeed as an author. She wrote about her attempts to prepare meals from famous cookbook by Child. The “Julie/Julia Project” blog, which Salon.com took up, attracted thousands of devoted readers.
At the time, blogging was still a relatively new format, and Powell emerged as one of its most prominent individuals, garnering accolades for her approachable and humorous writing style.
Deb Perelman, another food blogger, told the Times that “she wrote about food in a really genuine way that sounded like people I knew.” She made it clear that you could write about food in a real kitchen and without attending culinary school or having much experience.
The blog was the idea behind the 2005 novel “Julie & Julia,” which in turn served as the basis for the 2009 movie of the same name.
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Powell released her second novel, “Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession,” in the same year. Although the book received favourable reviews, sales were not as strong as those of her spectacular debut.
In 2018, Powell and her husband, magazine editor Eric Powell, left New York City and made Olivebridge, a small village in the Catskill Mountains, their permanent home.
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