Question: "So, what are you working on now?"
Answer: "I'm writing a book about salt."
I'm trying to imagine what my gut reaction would be if I were a new book agent, having an initial lunch with an author and my first question to him was answered that way.
"Salt: A World History" (2002) is a wonderful read. Author Mark Kurlansky skillfully transported me from Ancient China to the city-states of Venice and Genoa long before Italy was a unified nation to the present day Caribbean. And every chapter featured at least one recipe - accompanied by the story behind it - each illustrating the critical role salt has played in world cuisine. It was fascinating to be re-introduced to history via this commodity most of us take for granted.
All the same, each time that imaginary Q&A popped into my head I got a little sidetracked. How would you react to that answer if you were Kurlansky's friend? Sibling? Spouse? I'd love to eavesdrop on a conversation like that.