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Fresh off the success of his hilarious small-town lampoon, Serendipity Green, Rob Levandoski is back with a provocative father/daughter tale guaranteed to deliver as many tears as chuckles. It will also make you think long and hard about modern man's shaky relationship with the animal world.
The setting for Fresh Eggs is Levandoski's fictional Tuttwyler, Ohio. The family is the Cassowarys, a clan of hard-working, guilt-ridden Protestants ready to do whatever it takes to keep their farm in the family for one more generation. And now it's young Calvin Cassowary's turn.
Calvin decides to specialize in chickens. Soon he's got a million hens laying eggs for Gallinipper Foods. But no matter how many new hen houses he adds, his financial troubles only worsen.
If things aren't tough enough, Calvin's little daughter, Rhea, starts growing feathers. He takes her to one specialist after another. No one has a clue. Only Dr. Pirooz Aram, the pesky Persian-American psychiatrist first introduced in Serendipity Green, has an answer: Rhea's feathers are a "stigmatic response" to the horrible way her father's "egg machines" are treated.
Levandoski's exposé of modern factory farming is chilling, and his exploration of the uneasy relationship between fathers and daughters is right from the heart.
Fresh Eggs challenges us to rethink our treatment of creatures more vulnerable than ourselves, including those most precious of creatures, our children.
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Rob Levandoski lives on his family's farm in Hinckley, Ohio. The Permanent Press published his first novel, Going to Chicago, in 1997, followed by Serendipity Green in 2000. Fresh Eggs already has won Levandoski a prestigious Individual Artist Fellow-ship from the Ohio Arts Council.From Publishers Weekly:
Levandoski (Serendipity Green; Going to Chicago) takes satiric aim at industrialized farming and the fads of the late 20th century in this adult fable. Calvin Cassowary is the reluctant heir to his Ohio family farm, where he moves with his uncomplaining bride, Jeanie. He converts it into a highly successful modern egg farm by teaming with megacorporation Gallinipper Foods. Jeanie gives birth to a daughter, Rhea, but five years later succumbs to illness and leaves Calvin widowed, a situation he remedies by marrying Donna Digamy, who is allergic to everything. Rhea is traumatized by the brutal realities of egg farming, a revulsion reinforced when she visits the corporate headquarters and sees genetically altered hens being cruelly prepared for their work as productive layers. She then develops a curious physical reaction of her own: she sprouts feathers. In the meantime, Calvin is beset by enormous debt, encroaching land developers who want the egg farm shut down and by the public's sudden decision to eat healthier and avoid eggs. The story evolves in the tradition of other modern, adult fantasies from such writers as W.P. Kinsella and Joe Coomer. Calvin is comically bewildered by life but never tragically confronted; Rhea, who even joins a county fair freak show at the age of 14 to help raise money, is precocious and sweet without being saccharine. The satiric examination of animal cruelty, Reaganomics and social change is sharp, but the use of ridiculously onomatopoeic character names and stereotypes leads it close to farce from time to time. Still, it is satisfying summer reading that resonates with bittersweet humor and wisdom. Fans of Fast Food Nation will appreciate this unique title for its activism, while the father-daughter story line increases its emotional resonance. Paperback rights sold to Plume.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Permanent Pr Pub Co, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1579620485
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-1579620485