Related to: 'Great British Bake Off - Perfect Cakes & Bakes To Make At Home'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.7): Sweet Bread & Buns

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister
Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.1): Classic Cakes

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Bake it Better: Classic Cakes includes everything you need to know about baking delicious and beautiful cakes. Whether you are new to baking and looking for simple, easy recipes or a more confident baker looking to develop your skills and repertoire, with The Great British Bake Off you can be sure you're getting scrumptious, tried-and-tested recipes.The recipes themselves include traditional classics and modern bakes, and progress from simple through to more challenging showstoppers - Bake it Better will take you a journey from first timer to star baker. With expert advice about ingredients, equipment and techniques, and easy-to-follow step-by-step photographs.The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better are the 'go to' cookery books which gives you all the recipes and baking know-how in one easy-to-navigate series.

Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.4): Bread

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Bake it Better: Bread includes everything you need to know about baking delicious bread. Whether you are new to baking and looking for simple, easy recipes or a more confident baker looking to develop your skills and repertoire, with The Great British Bake Off you can be sure you're getting scrumptious, tried-and-tested recipes.The recipes themselves include traditional classics and modern bakes, and progress from simple through to more challenging showstoppers - Bake it Better will take you a journey from first timer to star baker. With expert advice about ingredients, equipment and techniques, and easy-to-follow step-by-step photographs.The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better are the 'go to' cookery books which gives you all the recipes and baking know-how in one easy-to-navigate series.

Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off: Celebrations

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Don't just celebrate - bake!With judges' recipes from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, and bakers' recipes from the Class of 2015, this is a beautiful book for homebakers everywhere inspired to celebrate with their own signature bakes.From three-tiered cheesecakes to black forest gateau, vol au vents to crème brulee, ice cream roll to Spanish windtorte, this year's record-breaking series of Bake Off was a celebration of everything that's great about British Baking, and these easy to follow recipes will help you recreate that magic in your own kitchen.Discover new flavours and techniques with the helpful tips in the 'baker's guide', 'meet the bakers' with inspiring insights into what got them baking, and try cake, bread and dessert ideas from around the world.Celebrations includes recipes for every occasion, from family meals and home-cooked teas to the big dates like Christmas and Diwali, Halloween and birthdays, as well as technical challenges, showstoppers and signature bakes you will recognize from the show.Cake - Black Forest Gateau, coffee and walnut cake, madeira cakeBiscuits - Box of Biscuits, ariettes, biscottiBread - baguettes, quick breadDesserts - Three tiered cheesecakes, Spanish windtorte, crème bruleeAlternative Ingredients - dairy-free ice cream roll, gluten-free pitta bread, sugar-free cakePastry - vol au vents, flaounes, frangipane tartVictorian - charlotte Russe, raised game piePatisserie - cream hornsWhatever the occasion you're baking for, add a dash of GBBO!

Delia Smith

Delia Smith CBE is the UK's best-selling cookery author, having published over 21 million copies since her first book, How to Cheat at Cooking, was published in 1973. Her cookery books, including Delia's Frugal Food, Delia Smith's Cookery Course and Delia's Complete How to Cook have become instant classics and are firm favourites of cooks around the world, making Delia a household name. Awarded both an OBE and a CBE in recognition of her "contribution to television cooking and recipe writing," Delia's signature, no-nonsense approach to cooking has inspired millions of home cooks to master the culinary basics and prepare classic, delicious meals with minimum fuss.

Donal Skehan

Donal Skehan has been cooking since age four when he flipped his first pancake! Inspired by a family of passionate foodies, cooking and eating hearty home cooked food has always been a way of life. Donal is the author of seven cookbooks; Fresh was named as one of Good Food magazine's Top 10 cookbooks of the year. He's the host of Saturday Kitchen, star of cookery shows on RTE and The Food Network, and has his own hit YouTube channel. Donal was born and raised in Dublin and is currently living in LA.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith is a regular contributor to Borough Market's online magazine and Market Life, its print magazine. He also writes 'Five of the Best' features for The FT Weekend Magazine, and for The Guardian, The Telegraph and various other publications. At the 2015 Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards he was named 'Best Online Restaurant Writer' and he was shortlisted for 'Best Cookery Writer'. In 2016 his blog Rocket & Squash was shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers' Best Blog Award. His first cookbook On the Side was published in spring 2017 to great acclaim.

Ella Mills (Woodward)

Ella Woodward is the author of must-read food blog www.deliciouslyella.com. She has created a hugely successful app to accompany the blog, opened her own deli in central London and launched her own line of energy balls. Ella's debut book Deliciously Ella was a number 1 bestseller when it was first published in January 2015, becoming the fastest selling debut cookery book since records began. It was also named as Amazon's biggest selling book of 2015. She was awarded a prestigious Observer Food Monthly award for Best Food Blog 2015. Her follow-up book, Deliciously Ella Every Day has been another hit bestseller. Ella discovered her passion for plant-based recipes after being diagnosed with a rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). She couldn't walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day and was in chronic pain most of the time. Conventional medicine failed to help her, so she decided to completely overhaul her diet and overnight the self-confessed 'sugar-monster' gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and all processed food. The results were incredible. Though initially far from confident in the kitchen, Ella started blogging about her new approach to food and posting recipes, and quickly amassed a huge online following.

Emma Marsden

EMMA MARSDEN is a food writer and stylist who studied at Leiths School of Food & Wine. She was Cookery Editor at Good Housekeeping magazine and is a regular contributor to Harrods' magazine. She has written a number of books including Heart on a Plate, Fortnum & Mason's Afternoon Tea and Honey & Preserves, WeightWatchers' The Smart Cook and Sainsbury's Kitchen Know-How.

Fizz Carr

Fizz was born and brought up in Sussex. After graduating from Exeter University she was runner-up in the annual Vogue talent contest for young writers; she then worked in London for several years in magazine publishing.After starting a family, with the birth of twins in 1992, she moved back to the South Downs to farm with her husband Stephen. Fizz is a passionate advocate of animal welfare and regularly holds farm visits for schools. Through her contact with children she has become painfully aware of how little so many young people know about the food that they eat, how it is produced and where it comes from. An active member of her local branch of the European Movement, she would like to see a more ambitious legislative programme to improve the welfare of animals on EU farms.Fizz has five daughters - Charlotte, Georgie, Joey, Mattie and Ted - all of whom are enthusiastic about food and cooking.

Giles Coren

Giles Coren has been a restaurant critic for The Times for the last ten years. Before that, he was restaurant critic of the Independent on Sunday. Before that, he was restaurant critic for Tatler. Before that, he was a journalist. In 2005, he was named Food and Drink Writer of the Year, published his first (and last) novel, Winkler and began presenting The F-Word on Channel 4 with Gordon Ramsay. Since then, he has presented a documentary series on biotechnology in the food chain (Animal Farm), a polemical film about the obesity crisis (Tax the Fat), and three series of The Supersizers Go...with Sue Perkins, who does the funny stuff whilst Coren eats his way through 2,000 years of food history with the table manners of a pig recently released from prison. His most recent television series, Our Food, aired on BBC2 in April 2012. He lives in Kentish Town with his wife, the writer Esther Walker, and his daughter, the toddler Kitty Coren, who recently developed a taste for good dim sum and will thus be allowed to stay.

Gill Holcombe

Gill Holcombe grew up before the culture on convenience and as a mother of three living on a tiny income, has perfected the art of creating delicious food from meagre shopping lists. Her first book, HOW TO FEED YOUR WHOLE FAMILY A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET WITH VERY LITTLE MONEY AND HARDLY ANY TIME . . . has become something of a phenomenon, selling 50,000 copies since its publication in October 2007.

Gino D'Acampo

Gino was born in Napoli in the south of Italy into a large family. The food they ate was very traditional - simple recipes based on fresh and healthy fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.'My grandfather said that a good recipe doesn't need many ingredients because if the ingredients are good quality and full of flavour, why do you have to cover up or change their taste'. This is a philosophy Gino has stuck to since he first started in the kitchen. After training at the Luigi de Medici Catering College, Gino came to London at 19 and worked at The Orchard Restaurant in Hampstead and then at the Cambio restaurant in Surrey.Working with Tesco on their Finest range led to his first TV appearance on Great Food Live on UKTV Food and a TV chef was born! With a cheeky smile and exceptional talent, he was well on the way to becoming one of the UKs most popular chefs.Gino is the author of several best-selling books including Fantastico!, Gino's Pasta, Italian Home Baking and Gino's Italian Escape.He is married to Jessica and they have three children, Luciano, Rocco and Mia.

Gordon Ramsay

Scottish by birth, Gordon was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. With an injury prematurely putting an end to any hopes of a promising career in football, he went back to college to complete a course in hotel management and his dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of world's leading chefs.In 1993 Gordon became chef of Aubergine in London and within three years was awarded two Michelin stars. In 1998, at the age of 31, Gordon set up his own restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which quickly received the most prestigious accolade in the culinary world - three Michelin stars. One of only four chefs in the UK to maintain three stars, Gordon was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the industry.Now internationally renowned, Gordon has opened a string of successful restaurants across the globe, from Italy to LA. 2011 has proved to be another exciting year and saw the opening of Bread Street Kitchen in London's City district, as well as a venture across the pond in Montreal, Canada.Gordon has become a star of the small screen both in the UK and internationally, with two top rated shows in the US. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen are both into their third and ninth series respectively, whilst his latest show, Masterchef US, is now in its second series and is proving to be another massive hit with viewers. Gordon has also published a number of books, many of which have become best sellers across the world, notably his autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen.Gordon lives with his wife and four children in South London, along with their two bulldogs Rumpole and Romeo.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is widely known as a writer, broadcaster and campaigner for his uncompromising commitment to real food and honest home cooking. His series for Channel 4 - including Hugh's Chicken Run and the River Cottage programmes - have earned Hugh a huge popular following. His weekly column in the Guardian celebrates the very best of seasonal British produce, and his latest campaigns and comments can be found on his website www.rivercottage.net. Hugh's books in the River Cottage series have scooped all the top food writing awards, including the Glenfiddich Trophy and the Guild of Food Writers' Michael Smith Award, and The River Cottage Meat Book won the André Simon Food Book of the Year Award in 2004 as well as claiming two trophies at the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2008. He is Patron of the National Farmers' Retail and Markets Association, and his campaigning zeal is currently focused on improving quality and welfare in the production of British meat. Hugh lives in Dorset with Marie and their three children.

Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall

Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall works as a landscape and garden designer creating or restoring period gardens, uncovering the contribution of previous generations and understanding how it reflects the garden maker's love affair with his or her plot. Recent restoration projects include an 18th century town garden in The Circus, Bath, the early 19th century garden at Cliveden, and the famous rose garden at Sudeley Castle. She is the author of PEONIES, THE IMPERIAL FLOWER, GARDENING MADE EASY and GARDEN PLANTS MADE EASY.

Kirstie Allsopp

Kirstie Allsopp has starred in Channel 4's Kirstie's Vintage Home, Kirstie's Handmade Britain, and Kirstie's Homemade Home and is the co-presenter, with Phil Spencer, of Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation. She got her first job with interior decorator Nikki Haslam, worked for Country Living magazine before setting up a property buying business with a friend. Kirstie lives in Devon and West London with her partner Ben Anderson and their two sons and two stepsons.

Liam Charles

Liam Charles was the youngest contestant on 2017's Great British Bake Off at 19 years old. He was the breakout star, winning over the public with his deliciously sweet baking creations and charisma. Liam Charles, from Hackney, London, is a student currently studying Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the co-presenter on the new series of Bake Off The Professionals and his debut cookbook publishes in July.

Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD, is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and founder and director of The Ultra-Wellness Center. He is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Eat Fat, Get Thin, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, and The Blood Sugar Solution.

Martin Chiffers

Patissier and Chocolatier MARTIN CHIFFERS is an international pastry consultant with over thirty years' experience who has worked at some of the world's most famous venues, including Harrods, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and The Savoy Hotel in London. He is the only pastry chef in the world to have won the European Pastry Cup Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie twice with Best Sugar and Chocolate Piece, and the highest points in all categories consecutively.