Who is Kathe Kramer? Inconclusive Google searches aside, we have no idea. But thanks are in order to Ms. Kramer all the same. Why? Because of her letter in response to the Times‘s food issue last week, printed in the magazine this Saturday:
“Wow, an entire page devoted to how not to eat (Lives, by ZZ Packer). I kept reading, waiting for a punch line, like “a light went off in my head and I developed self-nurturing skills and started to really take care of myself instead of wasting my time with silly rules.” Only eating French fries that touch your hamburger? One does not have to be anorexic to have disordered eating. KATHE KRAMER Annapolis, Md.”
Kramer’s letter was a welcome rebuke not only to Packer’s essay on her paranoid and frankly batshit eating habits, but also to the issue as a whole, which featured article after article about what not to eat. Packer’s essay, imbued with the thoughtful rationality one would expect from a picky four-year-old, felt like a final flip of the bird to anyone who’d expected to open the magazine and find something about the pleasures and sustenance that food can impart. That the Times published Kramer’s letter suggests that someone there finally saw the light of day; too bad the blinds weren’t opened a week earlier.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2009