Portland author and humorist Peg Bracken passed away this weekend. Many consider that her best known work “The I Hate to Cook Book” published in 1960 to have blazed the trail for first wave feminism.
Her writing has been called “as dry as a gin martini and as sharp as a paring knife.” Bracken went on to write 8 other books using her unique style and sardonic wit including “The I Hate to Housekeep Book” and —on etiquette- “I Try to Behave Myself.”
She also wrote commentaries for public radio. Here's a snippet from a 2001 commentary that aired on Marketplace. In it she takes takes aim at those annoying consumer surveys.
Peg Bracken: “The next day, invariably comes a questionnaire. 'Were we punctual? Were we courteous? Did we explain fully what needed to be done.' And on and on and on. Well of course they were. And of course they did. But apparently they can't hear it often enough. Somehow so much insecurity reminds me of a small child's first piano recital. 'Did I do alright mommy?' And it brings out the maternal in me. 'There, there honey you did just fine. Here's your teddy bear and now for an ice cream cone.' Enough already. I'm okay, and you're okay. Okay?”
Bracken is survived by her husband John Ohman, her daughter and 2 stepchildren, including Oregonian editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman. She had 11 grandchildren.
There will be no memorial service, but family members say remembrances can be sent to Kaiser Hospice.
Peg Bracken was 89.