Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia, has died at the age of 49

Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia, has died at the age of 49

Amy Adams portrays a food blogger who attempted to prepare more than 500 Julia Child recipes in a year in the movie based on her memoir.

Julie Powell, well known for her cookery novel Julie & Julia, which inspired a film starring Meryl Streep, died at the age of 49.

Her husband, Eric Powell, reported to the New York Times that she died on October 26 of cardiac arrest caused by heart arrhythmia at their home in Olivebridge, New York.

Powell rose to prominence in 2002, when, as a “secretary who lives with her husband, three cats, and a python above a diner on a barren street in Long Island City,” she embarked on a year-long quest to recreate all 524 recipes from her mother’s copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, a 1961 classic by Julia Child, a TV chef and the doyenne of French cookery in the US.

Powell’s struggles in the kitchen as an untrained cook were documented in Salon.com’s popular, witty, and self-deprecating food blog Julie/Julia Project.

“Her writing was so fresh, spirited – sometimes crude! – and so gloriously unmoored to any tradition,” food editor Amanda Hesser, who wrote about Powell’s project in the New York Times in 2003, said in an email after her death. Julie was the new school’s first distinct voice after the internet democratised food writing.”

Powell’s blog was turned into the best-selling Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen in 2005; the paperback edition was titled “My Year of Cooking Dangerously.”

Julie & Julia, starring Amy Adams as Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child, was inspired by her memoir. It was Nora Ephron’s final film, which she wrote and directed before her death in 2012.

Powell’s second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, was released in 2009, and it explored her relationship with her husband.

“Julie & Julia became an instant classic, and it is with gratitude for her unique voice that we will now remember Julie’s dazzling brilliance and originality,” wrote her publisher, Judy Clain, editor-in-chief of Little, Brown and Co.

Powell’s husband, brother, and parents survive her.

Rakhi Kale

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