Mar 232015
 

Norah Kennedy, later Norah (Kennedy) Barr was the younger sister of the culinary author Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher and elder sister of artist David Holbrook Kennedy.

Norah Kennedy was born 30 May 1917 in Whittier, California, and died at age 96 on 15 January 2014, in Santa Rosa, California.Norah Kennedy spent several months in Chapala, Mexico, in 1941. She traveled there with her brother David. In Mexico, they were joined by David’s girlfriend Sarah. David and Sarah married in Ajijic in early October 1941 and Norah shared a house with the newly weds for a month before they all returned to the U.S.

While in Chapala, Norah wrote about her experiences in Lanikai, Honolulu, and Molakai the previous year. (Reardon, p 134). Mary Frances (her eldest sister) visited the threesome and “advised Norah about marketing the stories she was writing in Mexico. In a letter written on October 14, she told her sister that she had arranged at least five of the stories into what she considered an appropriate sequence, and airmailed them to Mary Leonard Pritchett for submission to The New Yorker.” (Reardon, p 138-139) It is unclear if or when these stories were ever published.

Norah later worked as a psychiatric social worker for the Army during World War II, and for many years in the Berkeley school system. In 1993, the year after her sister’s death, Norah wrote the foreword for a book continuing the journals of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, entitled Foreword to Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me: journals and stories, 1933–1941, M. F. K. Fisher.

Sources:

  • Joan Reardon, 2005. Poet of the Appetites: The Lives And Loves of M.F.K. Fisher (North Point Press)
  • M. F. K. Fisher, 1943. The Gastronomical Me (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York), reprinted in The Art of Eating (Macmillan 1979).

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