Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth F, over at ‘Beth Fish Reads’.
It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page.
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This week, I am looking ahead slightly and would like to share details of a book I am hoping to receive my review copy of very soon…
When I was first approached about the possibility of the author submitting this book for review, I was so taken with the cover and title choices, that without the potted synopsis provided by the author’s agent Samantha Lien, I would never have been able to even guess at the genre or storyline for the book.
As it is, the title is such a clever play on words that it will almost certainly demand a second glance, to satisfy that ‘need to know what it is all about’ feeling!
In a wide range of forms and tones, the fifteen stories in Andy Mozina’s new collection, Quality Snacks, center on high-stakes performances by characters trying to gratify both deep and superficial needs, often with unexpected consequences. Driven by strange ambitions, bungled love, and a taste for-or abject fear of-physical danger, the collection’s characters enact the paradox in the concept of a quality snack: the dream of transmuting the mundane into something extraordinary.
Two teenage boys play chicken on a Milwaukee freeway. A man experiencing a career crisis watches a seventy-four-year-old great grandmother perform an aerial acrobatics routine at the top of a swaying 110-foot pole. Desperate to find a full-time job, a pizza delivery man is fooled into a humiliating sexual demonstration by a couple at a Midway Motor Lodge. A troubled young man tries to end his father’s verbal harassment by successfully hunting a polar bear. After an elf civil war destroys his Christmas operation, Santa Claus reinvents himself as a one-man baseball team and ends up desperate to win a single game. And in the title story, a flavor engineer at Frito-Lay tries to win his boss’s heart with a new strategy for Doritos that aims to reposition the brand from snack food to main course.
While some stories embrace pathos and some are humorous and some are realistic and some contain surreal elements, all of the stories in Quality Snacks share striking insight and a cast of compelling, well-conceived characters. This collection, in an earlier form, has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award, the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, the Elixir Press Fiction Award, and the Autumn House Fiction Contest, and a semi-finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize. Readers of fiction will be satisfied by the variety of fare offered by Quality Snacks.
Short story writer Andrew Mozina grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. He studied economics at Northwestern University and later attended Harvard Law School for a year. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Boston University, then moved to St. Louis where he completed a doctorate in English literature at Washington University. In 1999, after graduate school, Andrew moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to teach literature and creative writing at Kalamazoo College. It is in Michigan where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
‘Quality Snacks’, Andrew’s second collection of short stories, has already made waves, attracting some very positive recognition. The book was a semi-finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (2011) and finalist for multiple honors including the Elixir Press Fiction Award (2012), Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest (2012), Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award (2011) and the Autumn House Fiction Contest (2011).
Andrew’s first short story collection, “The Women Were Leaving the Men” was the winner of the 2008 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Fiction and a 2008 finalist for the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. He is also the non fiction author of “Joseph Conrad and the Art of Sacrifice”
I hope that if you are visiting, you have found my ‘foodie’ offering this week fun. Please share your links, as I am looking forward to discovering all your great food related posts this week and I hope that you all have a good weekend.