Author, actress, model, TV host and executive producer Padma Lakshmi released a new memoir this week on International Women’s Day.
Love, Loss and What We Ate offers fans a chance to get to know her much better. The 324-page memoir covers Padma Lakshmi’s childhood, her love affairs and her work. According to The New York Times she “highlights her high-profile relationship with author Salman Rushdie.”
The two met at a party in New York in 1999, when he was married and she was an aspiring model and actress. They shared a highprofile love affair, and then a marriage. But health and professional tensions frayed their relationship.
Ms. Lakshmi suffered from endometriosis, a painful uterine disorder in which tissue grows outside the organ. The struggles of dealing with it — she had extensive surgery — upended their sex life and contributed to the demise of their marriage, she writes. Ms. Lakshmi said Mr. Rushdie at one point called her “a bad investment” and was insensitive to her medical condition even as she tried to recuperate.
Padma Lakshmi spent some of her childhood in Madras, and she writes “The vivid flavors I experienced there will forever be the standard to which I hold any food I eat today.” Some of those flavors are shared in the book in recipes for yogurt rice and chutneys.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 23, 2015
In a recent appearance on NBC’s Today show she said that in addition to being a food memoir, the book for her is “really about an immigrant’s story.” Padma Lakshmi immigrated with her mother to the United States as a child, and she writes in the memoir about coming to terms with her identity and overcoming a “brown girl’s self-loathing.”
She told Matt Lauer on Today, “I am going to own my history.” Watch a clip in which she discusses her new book, including her insecurities and what it feels like in front of a camera and in the fashion business “when you’re brown in a white culture.”
Padma Lakshmi also spoke with Tamron Hall at Today about how, like many mothers, she juggles working and taking care of her daughter Krishna. Watch the segment below to hear about how she she plans to discuss the forthright memoir with Krishna when she’s old enough to read and understand some topics raised in the book, including the uncertainty over paternity during Padma Lakshmi’s pregnancy.
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