Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens. Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking. In this biography, we meet the earthy and outrageous Julia, who, at age eighty five, remains a complex role model. Fitch, who had access to all of Julia's private letters and diaries, takes us through her life from her exuberant youth as a high spirited California girl to her years at Smith College, where Julia was at the center of every prank and party. When most of her girlfriends married, Julia volunteered with the OSS in India and China during World War II, and was an integral part of this elite corps. There she met her future husband, the cosmopolitan Paul Child, who introduced her to the glories of art, fine French cuisine, and love. Theirs was a deeply passionate romance and a modern marriage of equals.Julia began her culinary training only at the age of thirty seven at the Cordon Bleu. Later she roamed the food markets of Marseilles, Bonn, and Oslo. She invested ten years of learning and experimentation in what would become her first bestselling classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, her career is legend, spanning nearly forty years and still going strong. Generations love the humor and trademark aplomb that have made Julia Child a household name. Resisting fads and narrow, fanatical conventions of health consciousness, Julia is the quintessential teacher. The perfect gift for food lovers and a romantic biography of a woman modern before her time, this is a truly American life. Bon apptit!