Judith Ryan Hendricks biography

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Judith Ryan Hendricks

Judith Ryan Hendricks

Judith Ryan Hendricks Biography

Judith Ryan Hendricks was born in San Jose, California, when the Santa Clara Valley was better known for its orchards than for computer chips. Armed with a degree in journalism, she worked as a journalist, copywriter, computer instructor, travel agent, waitress and baker before turning to fiction writing. Her experiences at the McGraw Street Bakery in Seattle became her first novel, Bread Alone.

A life-long infatuation with the Southwest was the inspiration for Isabel’s Daughter, and her third novel, The Baker’s Apprentice, is a sequel to Bread Alone. Her fourth book, The Laws of Harmony, was published in February, 2009; Hendricks’ fiction has been translated into 11 languages and distributed in more than 15 countries worldwide.  She and her husband Geoff now live in New Mexico.

Judith Ryan Hendricks's website

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Interview

Judith Ryan Hendricks talks about the experience of writing her first novel.

How did you learn to bake bread?
Even though I worked in a bakery, I never made bread there. I learned to make bread by reading and experimenting, beginning in the '70s. When I first graduated from college, I lived in New Orleans for a few years and I got very into cooking -- mostly gourmet, very complicated, almost ritualistic recipes. Baguettes were the bread of choice then. When I moved to Texas, I simultaneously discovered the women's movement, which was trying to get women away from being kitchen slaves, and the trend towards whole/natural foods. I began baking the kind of bread that Wyn describes when she talks about "throwing every grain they could find into the mix." It was healthy bread, but some of those loaves were regular little bricks. On a trip to France I discovered what I now think of as "real" bread in all its glory. I came back and started trying to recreate it. I just kept reading and experimenting -- and of course, books on bread kept getting better as bakers rediscovered the old ways to make artisan bread.

Where did you get the title for your book, and why?
One of my favorite bread books is Bread Alone, by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik. I think that was always in the back of ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Judith Ryan Hendricks at BookBrowse
The Laws of Harmony jacket Isabel's Daughter jacket Bread Alone jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Judith Ryan Hendricks but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Erica Bauermeister

    Erica Bauermeister

    Erica Bauermeister is the author of The School of Essential Ingredients (Jan 2009), a novel about eight students and their cooking teacher set in a restaurant kitchen. Her non-fiction work includes 500 Great Books by Women: A... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Bread Alone

    Try:
    The School of Essential Ingredients
    by Erica Bauermeister

  • Amanda Davis

    Amanda Davis

    Amanda Davis was raised in Durham, North Carolina. She was tragically killed in a plane crash on her way to her childhood state where she was scheduled to promote her debut novel, Wonder When You'll Miss Me, published in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Isabel's Daughter

    Try:
    Wonder When You'll Miss Me
    by Amanda Davis

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Book Discussion
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An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

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