Laurie Colwin died very young.
I discovered her when I was in law school - a friend of mine had picked up her last book A Big Storm Knocked It Over: A Novel and pressed it on me with the fervor of an evangelical, telling me that this book, this book was everything to her. I didn't know it then, but Laurie Colwin was already dead of a heart attack.
I read A Big Storm Knocked It Over, and then went on to read Happy All the Time, a book that I still own, that I left out in the rain and has a cover that separated and then dried in wrinkles, and Family Happiness, and then I discovered Laurie Colwin's food writing, and I read this book, and More Home Cooking, both of which I checked out of the public library.
And then I learned that she had died, a year before I had even discovered her and I felt grief because there would be no more books by Laurie Colwin and I hadn't even known it.
Home Cooking is an oddly wonderful book, a collection of stories about food written by someone who told stories about food and friendship and how food is friendship, and sometimes friendship is food. She's funny and self-deprecating and would have been a lovely person to sit down and have a meal with, and I've always wanted to make her gingerbread. Maybe someday I will.