A true treasure, Lisa Goldstein’s IVORY APPLES is one of the best books of 2019

At STRANGE HORIZONS, Paul Kincaid’s novel of 2019 was Lisa Goldstein’s IVORY APPLES.

IVORY APPLES by Lisa Goldstein, who continues to work wonders with contemporary fantasy that looks as if it is pursuing a familiar path until she takes a wild and unexpected detour.

Deborah J. Ross, on her eponymous site loves the book

This book is a true treasure, worthy of multiple re-readings, a perfect holiday gift for the child in all of us.

Photo by Doug Asherman

As part of his Eating Authors series, Laswrence M. Schoen interviews Goldstein.

LMS: Welcome, Lisa. Thank you for starting the year for us. Please tell me about your most memorable meal.

LG: The most memorable meal I ever had was in Rome, at a restaurant called Grappolo d’Oro. I knew that food in Italy was good, of course, but I didn’t really know how good. I ordered ravioli with cheese and something called tartufi, which turned out to be truffles. Not only had I never had truffles before, I had barely heard of them; if you’d asked, I would have said it was a play by Moliere. They were deep, earthy, full of dark, delicious flavor. And the rest of the ingredients were great too, each one in perfect balance with the others, and tasting as if they’d been created just that morning.

After that, I ordered truffles at every restaurant that listed them on the menu. Another restaurant, in Perugia, had truffles in something called scamorza, a kind of baked cheese. This was my second-most memorable meal — the place was called Il Settimo Sigillo, which means “the seventh seal,” and had something of a Knights Templar motif. We never found out why.

When I got back I looked around for more truffles.

Unfortunately, they’re phenomenally expensive here. Black truffles, the kind I like, mostly grow in France and Italy, and they’re hard to farm; usually they’re hunted with truffle hounds. The only solution, I guess, is to go back to Italy.