Leite to discuss memoir at library

Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury will present a program with local author David Leite and journalist Joseph Montebello May 20 at 1:30 p.m.

The two will discuss Leite’s recently published book “Notes on a Banana, a Memoir of Love and Manic Depression.”

The memoir from the founder of the James Beard Award-winning website Leite’s Culinaria is a candid, courageous, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story of family, food, mental illness and sexual identity.

Born into a family of Azorean immigrants, Leite grew up in the 1960s in a devoutly Catholic, blue-collar, food-crazed Portuguese home in Fall River, Mass.

A clever and determined dreamer with a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic, “Banana,” as his mother endearingly called him, yearned to live in a middle-class house with a swinging kitchen door just like the ones on television, and fell in love with everything French, thanks to his Portuguese and French-Canadian godmother.

But he also struggled with the emotional devastation of manic depression. Until he was diagnosed in his mid-30s, Leite found relief from his wild mood swings in learning about food, watching Julia Child, and cooking for others.

For more information, call the South Street library at 860-350-2181.