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Bob Shacochis to appear at Inkwood

Bob Shacochis will read and sign his latest book, Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love, from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Inkwood Books, 216 Armenia Ave., Tampa. A columnist for Gentleman's Quarterly, Shacochis won the 1985 American Book Award for his first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands. His first novel, Swimming in the Volcano was a finalist for last year's National Book Award.

Here is a taste of Domesticity:

Of the gastronomic truths

that help illuminate human existence

perhaps the most tantalizing is that each life

can be identified and tagged with a single

edible entity _ I hesitate to say food _ that

embodies the personality of an individual.

For the author and celebrated eater Calvin

Trillin, the centerpiece of his gastronomic

crest would be _ presuming he could

possibly make up his mind about such a

portentious emblem _ a slab of barbecue ribs.

... Don, a roadside entrepeneur who vends

fireworks and Christmas trees, would be

required to sport a bill cap bearing the Ding

Dong logo. Likewise, my gastronomic

mentor Captain Tay would have his maritime

license stamped with the image of a chili

pepper. In the wisest of New Age societies,

we would abandon the celestial interrogative,

What's your sign? and replace it with the

more vital, revealing, and intensely serious

question, What's your food?