April 19, 2013

SUNY Press Publishes Empire State College Professor Eric Ball

"Sustained by Eating, Consumed by Eating Right – Memoir on the Struggle to Live a Good Life"

Sustained by Eating, Consumed by Eating Right – Memoir on the Struggle to Live a Good Life, by SUNY Professor Eric Ball

Eric L. Ball is a member of the college's faculty.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 22, 2013) How does one nourish the soul? One man’s quest for answers leads him to the kitchen in a new book, “Sustained by Eating, Consumed by Eating Right,” SUNY Press, April 2013, a personal narrative about food, drink and the struggle to live a good life in today’s world. In it, Eric L. Ball, of Moreau, N.Y., an associate professor of cultural studies at SUNY Empire State College, explores the evolving significance of family, the nature of freedom and the future of the environment.

“Congratulations go to Professor Eric Ball on achieving this important milestone in his career,” said Meg Benke, acting president of the college. “Eric Ball’s new book is a product of his creative talent and hard work and, as a member of the Empire State College faculty, he brings his ability and dedication to the teaching of his students.”

The memoir is the result of Ball’s reflections on food and life that he began after he returned to his hometown in Saratoga County after a 15-year absence that included time living in Greece. Although not of Greek descent, he found himself grappling with the loss of his Mediterranean past as he endeavored to construct his version of the good life surrounded by family and old memories.

Ball will be signing copies of his book Saturday, April 27, at the Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, beginning at 1 p.m.

Incorporating home cooking, do-it-yourself spirit, and the element of personal discovery, Ball navigates the interplay of human intellectual convictions and emotional needs. The result is a bittersweet story that ponders questions about living a decent and fulfilling life when it comes to both food and family.

“After several years of doing traditional scholarship, I was hoping to work my way back toward the kinds of creative nonfiction I’d been doing in Greece, but now in English, and with upstate New York as my ‘homepage,’” said Ball, who has published frequently on the subject of place-based arts, literatures and pedagogies. “It’s not every day that someone like me who grew up in a small town can return there for an academic career, so I felt even more compelled to try taking my writing in this new direction.”

Eugene W. Holland, professor and chair of the Department of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University, calls the book, “A fascinating account of a life devoted to deep appreciation of family, food, and cultural difference. So engaging and well-written you won’t want to put it down.”

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918


518-321-7038 (after 5 p.m. and on weekends)

Review copies, book-signings and events contact: Kate R. McDonnell, promotions manager

SUNY Press