Annie & Joe's Eclectic Book Club - April - "Butter"
Anne Panning's fiction has been described as warm and original by
"Publishers Weekly," intelligent and humorous by the "Boston Globe,"
graceful and wry by "Booklist," and infectious and enchanting by the
"New York Times." In fact, Panning's last collection of short stories,
"Super America," was a "New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice.
Enter this exciting new novel, the best work yet from a writer whose
astute observations of American life are as honest as they are
engaging."Butter" is a coming of age tale set against the backdrop of
small-town Minnesota during the 1970s and told from the perspective of
an eleven-year-old girl, Iris, who learns from her parents that she is
adopted. The story of Iris's childhood is at first beguiling and
innocent: hers is a world filled with bell-bottoms and Barbie dolls,
Shrinky Dinks and Shaun Cassidy records, TV dinners and trips to
grandma's. But as her parents' marriage starts to unravel, Iris grows
more and more observant of disintegration all around her, and the simple
cadences of her story quickly attain an unnerving tension as she wavers
precariously between girlhood and adolescence. In the end, Iris's story
represents a profound meditation on growing up estranged in small town
America--on being an outsider in a world increasingly averse to them.
Passionate, lyrical, and disquieting, this intensely moving novel is a
rich exploration of a crucial theme in American literature that will
confirm Anne Panning's place as a major figure in the world of