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Fannie Flagg, Copyright: PLCMC
Fannie Flagg
(Patricia Neal)
born: 21.09.1944
in: Birmingham/Alabama

Publisher's Website
1992 .|. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
     aka. Coming Attractions
.|. Bookworm's Comment
1995 .|. Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook
1997 .|. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Excerpt from Random House
1999 .|. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookworm's Comment
2002 .|. Standing in the Rainbow Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookworm's Comment
2004 .|. A Redbird Christmas Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookworm's Comment
2006 .|. Can't wait to get to Heaven Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookreporter.com
2010 .|. I still dream about you Excerpt from Random House
Read an interview with Fannie Flagg and a review of "A Redbird Christmas"
at Bookreporter.com.

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
"Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man" (Vintage, Paperback, 9th edition, 1999, read: January 04)
"Fannie Flagg takes us on a journey to a South that only Southerners know, to a time when 'Blue Velvet' was played at the Senior Prom, and into the life of Daisy Fay Harper, a sassy, truth-telling heroine who just can't stay out of trouble. What's more she tells us everything - from what (or who) made her Daddy and Momma split up to what is really stashed in the freezer of the family's malt shop.
Daisy Fay is coming of age in the Gulf Coast's Shell Beach, which is The End of the Road of the South, but a dandy place to meet the locals like hard-drinking Jimmy Snow, former debutante Mrs. Dot and Daisy's own Daddy. They're all part of the fun that takes us down home, back to the '50s, and into the best story ever written east of Texas ..."

Daisy Fay is a real little minx and when she tells us about her life she doesn't mince her words. This can be really funny, or sad, and most of the time its unintentionally humerous. Because she doesn't always interpret events right but describes them how she experiences them. And the reader can imagine the rest about what really happened.
The story is mainly about the Harper's family life, Daisy Fay's childhood, her father trying to start a business and her mother trying to accept this kind of life. When her mother leaves the family Daisy Fay and her father stay behind and try to make ends meet. But they never give up hope and are supported by a variety of strange neighbours. The story ends when Daisy Fay is 19, has won a few beauty contests, has finally become a local celebrity and at last knows how she wants her life to go on.

This is a great summer book and an excellent first novel by Fannie Flagg. If you've discovered her only later in her bibliography, as I did, you shouldn't skip this book. Stories about independent girls who know what they want but not exactly how to get it can be a fun read, especially if they are as well written as this one.
[Dorothée Büttgen, August 04]

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
"Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!"(Vintage, Paperback, 1999, read: September 99)
"Sweeping from the gentler confines of late 1940s small-town America to the tough side of the New York media circus in the '70s, Fannie Flagg's new novel mines golden seams of goodness and gritty determination, prejudice and despair, love and survival, in the story of a young TV interviewer, Dena Nordstrom, whose future looks full of promise, whose present is an emontional mess, and whose past is marked by mystery. With a cast of unforgettable characters, from the comic masterpiece that is Neighbor Dorothy (broadcasting home tips and good news to the midwest from her own front room) to the monstrosity that is Ira Wallace, TV network head - Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! is a funny, constantly surprising novel that keeps you guessing and turning the page right up to the last."

A wonderful book. One of the best 'family stories' I've read in a long time. One gets to know Dena Nordstrom as an ambitious and independent interviewer who can't be led astray from her way to the top by anything. But then events happen which change her life completely and one involuntarily asks if it could happen to oneself. And according to Fannie Flagg nothing is impossible. Eventually a circle closes that is completely unpredictable and you lay down the book laughing and glad that it all happened this way.
Fannie Flagg also wrote 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' on which the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes' (1991) is based. I first saw the movie and then bought the book. I've never encountered anything more confusing than this story. It was the first time that I understood a book only because I saw the movie before. Because of this I started with 'Baby Girl' slightly predjudiced. But don't be afraid: although the story jumps between different timezones and persons it's never confusing. But very thrilling, funny and entertaining. The perfect autumn novel!
[Dorothée Büttgen, September 99]

Standing in the Rainbow
"Standing in the Rainbow" (Chatto & Windus, London, Paperback, 2002, read: January 03)
"The time is 1946-2000. The place, Elmwood Springs, Missouri. World War II has ended and the joyous transitions to peace are being, mostly, embraced - 'We have saved Europe and everyone liked us that year, even the French'.
At the centre of the novel is the indomitable Neighbor Dorothy, broadcasting daily (with Mother Smith on the organ), from her front room, via the tower in her backyard, to an eager, and at times lonely, audience across the state - listeners who often hear more than her own family would like about the antics of her wayward son Bobby and adolescent Anna Lee. It's hard to keep secrets in a community like theirs, but life isn't perfect, and even Neighbor Dorothy herself has a tragedy as well hidden as it can be."

Fannie Flagg has returned to Elmwood Springs and its slightly crazy inhabitants. A reunion with old friends from "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl". But don't fear, this book doesn't assume any knowledge from the previous book and it doesn't even refer to it. The people and the city are the same and they've kept their little eccentricities but that's all there is to know in advance. "Standing in the Rainbow" is no sequel, its more like a deepening of the story and its wonderful characters, first and foremost Neighbor Dorothy and Norma.
You'll accompany the people of Elmwood Springs from 1946 until the present and in the end you'll have the impression that you've grown old with them and have known them your whole life. The book is about living in a small town, growing up, getting old and dying. And about rising above yourself even though you didn't plan it and or even thought it possible.

In the beginning I had some difficulties with the style of this book because the chapters are rather short and I had the impression that I was reading seperate short-stories instead of a whole book. But this didn't last longer than 30 pages and after that I was right back in the middle of Elmwood Springs. After finishing the book you might be tempted to get "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl" back out of the shelf and to see how the new story fits into the old one. It would be worth the time!
[Dorothée Büttgen, January 03]

Fannie Flagg - A Redbird Christmas
"A Redbird Christmas" (Random House, Hardcover, 1st edition, 2004, read: November 04, January 09)
"After a startling diagnosis from his doctor, Oswald T. Campbell leaves behind the cold and damp of the oncoming Chicago winter to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the warm and welcoming town of Lost River. There he meets the postman who delivers mail by boat, the store owner who nurses a broken heart, the ladies of the Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society, who do clandestine good works. And he meets a little redbird named Jack, who is at the center of this tale of a magical Christmas when something so amazing happened that those who witnessed it have never forgotten it. Once you experience the wonder, you too will never forget A Redbird Christmas."

A christmas novel has to be a little bit kitschy, has to include lovable characters and in the end a small miracle has to happen. Otherwise it would not be a christmas novel! Fannie Flagg has remembered all those points and has written a wonderful christmas novel. Its perfect for the pre-christmas season because while reading you can anticipate the snow and the nice smell of candles and cookies.
Its all about a dying man, a flightless bird, a crippled girl and a small town named 'Lost River', where all citizens are mainly eccentric, but (maybe because of that) good at heart.

As kitschy as it sounds (and as it is) Fannie Flagg happens to write a novel which is impossible to lay down. The authors writing is simply incredible. A wonderful fascinating style which makes even the most impossible story sound possible.

Definitely a book for cold winter afternoons to cuddle up with and to get away from reality.
[Dorothée Büttgen, December 08]

More great reviews from Bookworm's Lair:

Diana Gabaldon - Outlander     Patricia Gaffney - The Saving Graces     Sue Monk Kidd - The Secret Life of Bees     Billie Letts - Where the Heart is

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