Julie Powell, a gourmet author best known for her wildly popular book “Julie & Julia,” died suddenly at the age of 49.
The best-selling author unexpectedly passed away last Wednesday at her home in Olivebridge, New York, after suffering a heart attack, according to the New York Times. Her parents, brother, and husband are all still living.
Powell rose to literary fame after the release of “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” a satirical depiction of Powell’s attempt to duplicate each recipe from Julia Child’s legendary cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
The book has sold over a million copies, and Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep turned it into a film in 2009. Amy Adams, a potential Oscar nominee, played Powell in the well-liked movie, which made close to $130 million at the box office.
“She had such imagination and emotional understanding,” said Powell’s editor Judy Clain. The journal broke the awful news of the writer’s death on Tuesday for the first time.
Powell studied at Amherst College, where she graduated in 1995. Sh e grew up in Austin, Texas, where she was born.
Powell began blogging in 2002 because she was feeling lost and concerned that her writing career wouldn’t be successful. She described her attempts to make recipes from the well-known cookbook by Child. Numerous readers of Salon.com’s “Julie/Julia Project” blog have become loyal followers.
At the time, blogging was still a relatively new method of communication, and Powell quickly became one of its most well-known figures, winning praise for her approachable and lighthearted writing.
She “wrote about food in a really authentic way that sounded like people I knew,” Deb Perelman, another food writer, told the Times.
It was made apparent by her that you could write about food in a real kitchen without going to culinary school or having much prior experience.
The 2005 book “Julie & Julia,” which served as the inspiration for the 2009 film of the same name, was inspired by the blog.
In the same year, Powell published “Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession,” her second book. Despite positive reviews, the book’s sales did not match those of her impressive debut.
In 2018, Powell and her spouse, magazine editor Eric Powell, moved out of New York City and settled permanently in Olivebridge, a small community in the Catskill Mountains.
Upon hearing of the writer’s terrible passing, many of admirers rushed to Twitter to express their condolences.
“I remember that time in the middle of the 2000s when I was bored, frustrated, and unable to write what I wanted to with scary clarity because Julie Powell’s blog gave me hope in a manner I had never known. This news has shattered me,” one person wrote.
“This is very horrible news,” a different person remarked.