When I was in my late teens I lived in Sydney and I had a lot of spare time, being young, working (read - had money!), and exploring the Sydney streets all the time. Not long after I had arrived I picked up a copy of a cookbook called "The Commune Cookbook" by Crescent Dragonwagon. What a ridiculous name, I thought. How could that be her real name?
It read a bit like a diary, with recipes inserted. Kind of like a blog is these days. She was 16 and had moved in with this guy, into a Brownstone in (perhaps) San Fransisco or somewhere similar. I have since read that she and her hubby (yes, she was impossibly young to get married, it hasnt lasted so I read on the net), wanted to change her name. There is a strange story about how they came up with "Dragonwagon". I think they changed it by deedpoll and everything, it was her legal name.
She tells of trying to make and sell bread (not a success), of getting free food at the end of the day from markets, and even of "gasp" stealing food in an effort to live cheaply.
So, I trawled the net. It's not a book I have managed to hang onto over the years. She read so well tho, despite being very young, impressionable, incredibly idealistic and naive. I found that she is the author of many, many books. Several cookbooks, a myriad of childrens books and goodness knows what else. She also runs writing classes.
When I owned this book I thought it was a one-off, oddity. Not so. So, not so!