Powell died of cardiac arrest on October 26 at her home. Julie Powell, the author of “Julie & Julia,” died at the age of 49. After blogging for a year about making every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Powell quickly became an internet sensation. Her blog resulted in a book deal and, later, a film adaptation.
Powell died of cardiac arrest on October 26 at her home in upstate New York, according to the New York Times. Judy Clain, Powell’s email, and Little, Brown’s editor-in-chief, confirmed her death.
“She was a brilliant writer and a daring, original person, and she will not be forgotten,” Clain told the Associated Press in a statement. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to everyone who knew and loved Julie, whether personally or through the deep bonds she forged with readers of her memoirs.”
In 2005, Powell published “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.” The book was a success and was later adapted into a film, “Julie & Julia.” Amy Adams played Powell in the film, and Meryl Streep played Julia Child.
Powell followed up his first book with “Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession.” Powell revealed an affair and the agony of loving two men at the same time in it.
“People coming from ‘Julie & Julia’ and picking up ‘Cleaving’ will be in for some emotional whiplash,” she told the Associated Press in 2009. “I don’t think it’ll be a Nora Ephron movie.”
Her affair began in 2004 when she was nearing the end of her first book. By 2006, she had landed an apprenticeship at a butcher shop two hours north of New York City, which provided an escape from her crumbling marriage as well as an opportunity to explore her childhood fascination with butchers.
“The way they held the knife was like an extension of themselves,” she explained. “I’m a clumsy individual. I don’t participate in sports. That kind of physical ability is completely foreign to me, and I am envious of it.”
The book delves into the connection between butchering and her own torturous romantic life. She writes, “It’s sad, but also a relief, to know that two things so closely bound together can separate with such little violence, leaving smooth surfaces instead of bloody shreds,” while cutting the connective tissue on a pig’s leg.
Powell’s second book capitalized on the growing interest in traditional butchery, and her experience slicing meat actually caused her to eat less of it. She was an outspoken supporter of humanely raised and slaughtered animals.
“People enjoy getting their hands dirty. People want to be a part of the process. People are curious about the origins of their food “Powell stated. “People are tired of the mystery.”
Her husband, Eric, survives her.