Standing in the Rainbow
By Fannie Flagg
(Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780804119351, 544pp.)
Publication Date: June 3, 2003
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Good news! Fannie’s back in town--and the town is among the leading characters in her new novel.
Along with Neighbor Dorothy, the lady with the smile in her voice, whose daily radio broadcasts keep us delightfully informed on all the local news, we also meet Bobby, her ten-year-old son, destined to live a thousand lives, most of them in his imagination; Norma and Macky Warren and their ninety-eight-year-old Aunt Elner; the oddly sexy and charismatic Hamm Sparks, who starts off in life as a tractor salesman and ends up selling himself to the whole state and almost the entire country; and the two women who love him as differently as night and day. Then there is Tot Whooten, the beautician whose luck is as bad as her hairdressing skills; Beatrice Woods, the Little Blind Songbird; Cecil Figgs, the Funeral King; and the fabulous Minnie Oatman, lead vocalist of the Oatman Family Gospel Singers.
The time is 1946 until the present. The town is Elmwood Springs, Missouri, right in the middle of the country, in the midst of the mostly joyous transition from war to peace, aiming toward a dizzyingly bright future.
Once again, Fannie Flagg gives us a story of richly human characters, the saving graces of the once-maligned middle classes and small-town life, and the daily contest between laughter and tears. Fannie truly writes from the heartland, and her storytelling is, to quote Time, "utterly irresistible."
FANNIE FLAGG’s writing career began behind the scenes of television’s Candid Camera and progressed to out-in-front as performer-writer. Her acting achievements led to roles in motion pictures including Five Easy Pieces, with Jack Nicholson; Stay Hungry, with Jeff Bridges and Sally Field; and, most recently, Crazy in Alabama, with Melanie Griffith. For the theater in New York she did Patio Porch and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and played the lead role in the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Her first novel, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, was on the New York Times bestseller list for ten weeks. Her second, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, praised by Harper Lee and Eudora Welty, was on the Times list for thirty-six weeks. It was made into the memorable hit movie Fried Green Tomatoes, starring Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates. The screenplay, also written by Flagg, earned her the coveted Scripters Award and was nominated for an Academy Award and the Writers Guild of America Screen Award. Her reading of the Random House audiobook received a Grammy nomination.
That book gave way to an even bigger hardcover success for Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, which The Christian Science Monitor called “captivating . . . a comic novel to open with open arms.” Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.
Praise for Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
“A real novel and a good one [from] the busy brain of a born storyteller.”
--The New York Times
“Courageous and wise.” --Houston Chronicle
“Try to stop laughing.” --Liz Smith
“It’s very good, in fact, just wonderful.” --Los Angeles Times
Praise for Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
“Another winner . . . an assortment of zany, lovable, and intriguing characters.”
--Chattanooga Free Press
“A well-choreographed story of loyalty and survival that zigzags deftly across the postwar years . . . Flagg can cook up memorable women from the most down-to-earth ingredients.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Flagg gives popular fiction a good name. . . . Let others pretend to literary greatness. Fannie goes for literary goodness--and achieves it.”
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch