Powell died of cardiac arrest at her home on Oct. 26
Julie Powell, author of “Julie & Julia,” has died at 49. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)
Julie Powell, the food writer behind “Julie & Julia,” has died at 49.
Powell quickly became an internet sensation after blogging for a year about making every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
Her blog landed her a book deal and later a film adaption.
Powell died of cardiac arrest Oct. 26 at her home in upstate New York, the New York Times reported. Her death was confirmed by Judy Clain, Powell’s email and editor-in-chief of Little, Brown.
“She was a brilliant writer and a daring, original person and she will not be forgotten,” Clain said in a statement to the Associated Press. “We are sending our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Julie, whether personally or through the deep connections she forged with readers of her memoirs.”
Powell released “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” in 2005. The book became a hit and was later made into a movie, “Julie & Julia.” Powell was portrayed by Amy Adams in the movie and Meryl Streep starred as Julia Child.
Powell released a second book, “Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession.” In it, Powell revealed she had an affair and the pain of loving two men at once.
“People coming from the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ and picking up ‘Cleaving’ are going to be in for some emotional whiplash,” she told the Associated Press in 2009. “I don’t believe it’s going to be a Nora Ephron movie.”
Her affair began in 2004 as she was finishing up her first book. By 2006, she had landed an apprenticeship at a butcher shop two hours north of New York City, which offered an escape from her crumbling marriage and a place to explore her childhood curiosity with butchers.
“The way they held a knife in their hand was like an extension of themselves,” she said. “I’m a very clumsy person. I don’t play sports. That kind of physical skill is really foreign to me, and I’m really envious of that.”
The book explores the link between butchering and her own tortured romantic life. At one point, while cutting the connective tissue on a pig’s leg, she writes, “It’s sad, but a relief as well, to know that two things so closely bound together can separate with so little violence, leaving smooth surfaces instead of bloody shreds.”
Powell’s second book tapped into the growing interest in old-school butchery and her experience slicing meat actually resulted in her eating less of it. She was an advocate for humanely raised and slaughtered animals.
“People want to get their hands dirty. People want to participate in the process. People want to know where their food is coming from,” Powell said. “People don’t want the mystery anymore.”
She is survived by her husband, Eric.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Janelle Ash is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital.