First-time novelist Karen Stolz has created a cozy, poignant and exquis- itely written episodic tale of family, food, and love. Set in a small town in Texas in the 1960s, where there wasnt a lot to pick from, summer-job wise: counter-girl at Jerrys Dairy King, shampoo girl at Barbs Tint n Clip; the maid job at the Bluebonnet Motel, a young girl named Roxanne comes of age. Whether its a pie-baking contest that becomes a lesson in racial politics and courage; a crush on the new mailman (who is a woman); or dealing with the death of her beloved father and her mothers remarriage, Roxanne never fails to touch our hearts. And if that werent enough, the recipes following each chapterwhich range from Christinas Lemon Meringue Pie to Doreens Frozen Fruit Saladevoke a cozy sweet sensation that makes it seem as though there could be no better place to live than tiny Annette, Texas. A selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club. Advanced praise for World of Pies: Karen Stolzs talent shines forth like a jewel. Annette, Texas, is a place that I believe readers will want to visit again and again. ˜ Gloria Naylor, author of The Women of Brewster Place If Karen Stolzs first novel were a pie, it would be the lemon meringue of your childhoodcrusty on the outside, sunny but a bit tart inside, and topped with a dreamy confection Irresistible. ˜ Mary Willis Walker, author of All the Dead Lie Down
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Karen Stolz's first novel, World of Pies, was a Booksense Selection. Stolz is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was awarded a 1999 Fiction Fellowship from the Austin Writers' League/Texas Commission on the Arts. Born in St. Louis and raised in Kansas, she lives in Austin, Texas, with her son.From Publishers Weekly:
Comparisons to Fried Green Tomatoes have become so commonplace that readers begin to suspect publishers of hyperbole until they come across something as front-porch charming as this episodic debut novel, covering nearly 30 years in the life of Roxanne Milner. Beginning in 1961, when Roxanne is 12, the 10 stand-alone chapters, most ending in dessert recipes and each serving up a witty, quirky slice of a single life, take as their primary setting Annette, Tex., a postage-stamp-sized town where even the advent of the first female mail carrier is big news. Roxanne's father is the proprietor of Carl's Corsets, while her mother is immersed in housekeeping and cooking, especially in "the world of pies, " a distinctively feminine territory that baseball aficionado Roxanne is not at all certain she wants to enter. But after she participates in the town's first pie fair, she develops an interest in baking. Adroitly maneuvering an energetic, episodic and unpredictable plot, Stolz makes a series of glimpses into smalltown life more universal by dropping a new element into each chapter--a mother's old boyfriend, a new baby, the arrival of the drug culture--each revealing a lively new angle of Annette and its inhabitants. Waves in Roxanne's domestic tide pool ripple outward, reflecting the more titanic racial, social and political changes in the world at large. True, there are some redundancies and some of the chapter endings are a little too cozily pat, but overall this is engaging storytelling, as nostalgically appealing as a 10? Coke. Agent, Gail Hochman. $100,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book club selections; 6-city author tour. (June)
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