The Wonder Bread Summer
“Picaresque, properly funny, unpredictable and altogether irrepressible.” —Nick Hornby, The Believer
Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Mary Jane, delivers a darkly hilarious, heartbreaking coming-of-age novel with The Wonder Bread Summer.
In The Wonder Bread Summer, loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, 20-year-old Allie Dodgson has adventures that rival those Alice had down the rabbit hole. Or those of Weeds’ Nancy Botwin.
Allison is working at a dress shop to help pay for college. The dress shop turns out to be a front for drug dealers. And Allison ends up on the run—with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine.
With a hit man after her, Allison wants the help of her parents. But there’s a problem: Her mom took off when Allison was eight; her dad moves so often Allison that doesn’t even have his phone number….
Set in 1980s California, The Wonder Bread Summer is a wickedly funny and fresh caper that’s sure to please fans of Christopher Moore, Carl Hiaasen, and Marcy Dermansky.
Praise For The Wonder Bread Summer: A Novel…
Blau’s madcap chase through 1980s L.A. is over-the-top and...a liberal dose of dark humor and an oddly heart-warming ending add to the twisted ride.
— Publishers Weekly
“A fun read! Even before the buzzard hits the windshield, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER will make you feel better about your worst summer vacation.”
— Christopher Moore, New York Times-bestselling author of Lamb and A Dirty Job
“A rollicking, irreverent, sweep of a novel. Blau has written another shining, no-holds barred California heart breaker.”
— Deborah Reed, author of Carry Yourself Back To Me
“Jessica Anya Blau has taken the story of a young woman’s search for self and rendered it into a hilarious, cocaine-fueled thrill-ride. From its Tarantino-esque opening scene to its twisty final pages, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER is an unrelenting delight.”
— Jon Michaud, author of When Tito Loved Clara
“It’s hard to recall a debut as warm, charming and comically satisfying as The Summer of Naked Swim Parties . . . Blau conveys Jamie’s world with compelling insight and wit . . . [Blau’s] sharp observation and affectionate humor [give] surprising depth to this shimmering novel.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“This book will make you laugh and cry in public. Jessica Anya Blau has written a soaring teenage lament, perfectly pitched, containing the single saddest and funniest line of seduction ever uttered.”
— Larry Doyle, author of I Love You, Beth Cooper
“A book by Blau would be disappointing without pot smoking, hilarious and sometimes grungy sex, and bickering relatives.”
— Boston Globe
“Jessica Anya Blau returns with all the comedic powers of a master trickster.”
— Jessica Keener, author of the nationally-bestselling novel Night Swim
“Often hilarious and lewd, and also sincere and moving, like the naughty Southern Californian soul mate of Nick Hornby.”
— Matthew Klam, author of Sam the Cat, and other stories
“Blau has crafted a totally uniqu coming of age story, wrapped in a road trip, with a drug caper center. It’s a wild, exuberant novel, full of humor, heart, and a solid dose of bad behavior. I loved it.”
— Paula Bomer, author of 9 Months
“No one writes like Jessica Anya Blau. Funny, tender, and outrageous.”
— Michael Downs, author of The Greatest Show
“Jessica Anya blau has the gift of creating people we feel and know as familiar, and then showing us how much we don’t know them at all.”
— Leora Skolkin-Smith, author of Hystera
“This novel is addictive! I was hooked the moment straight-arrow Allie steals a bread bag full of blow...You won’t be able to look away.”
— Mary Kay Zuravelff, author of Man Alive!
“Jessica Anya Blau’s The Wonder Bread Summer is a lightning strike of a novel, sexy and dangerous and aglow with adventure. Allie is a tenacious and deliciously complicated heroine, and it’s impossible to resist the ride she takes you on.”
— Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
“This is as fast, fun, and outrageous a book as I’ve read in a long time. But beneath all the antics is a poignant story about racial identity, fathers and daughters, and coming of age in one totally messed-up decade.”
— Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets
“In The Wonder Bread Summer, Jessica Anya Blau sends us tumblin down a rabbit hole of youthful mistakes and heartache, alongside the unsinkable Allie Dodgson. Coming of age has never been so wickedly thrilling.”
— Tania James, author of Aerogrammes and Other Stories
“The Wonder Bread Summer is the best ever! It even made me a little jealous and that doesn’t happen often.”
— Madison Smartt Bell
“Picaresque, properly funny, unpredictable and altogether irrepressible...[Blau] reminds me of [Charles] Portis in a lot of ways . . . [S]he has a steady nerve, as well as a wicked imagination, and she takes her craft seriously... Top-notch comic writing.”
— Nick Hornby, The Believer
Harper Perennial, 9780062199553, 288pp.
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
About the Author
Jessica Anya Blau was born in Boston and raised in Southern California. Her novels have been featured on The Today Show, CNN and NPR, and in Cosmo, Vanity Fair, Bust, Time Out, Oprah Summer Reads and other national publications. Jessica's short stories and essays have been published in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies. Jessica co-wrote the script for Love on the Run starring Frances Fisher and Steve Howey. She sometimes works as a ghost writer and has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College and The Fashion Institute of Technology. Jessica lives in New York.