Pixie Kitchy was once Miss New Jersey. Now she's married to a dentist, an ex-quarterback in turtled golf pants. Her ten-year-old daughter, Mitzie, wears Bo-peep pincurls and twirls baton. Her sixteen-year-old son, Ezra, the person who knows her best, is caught up in his fling with the podiatrist's daughter. And Pixie is consumed by the past. She confides, "I was a housewife, and I became dangerous. Sometimes it's the only way possible to regain footing in the world." In this high-wire mixture of absurdity and pathos, hilarity and darkness, one American family finds out that there is no such thing as the perfect American family, and, for better or for worse, they come together and start anew.
Julianna Baggott's work has appeared in such publications as The Southern Review, Ms. magazine, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2000, and read on NPR's Talk of the Nation. The nationally bestselling author of The Miss America Family and Girl Talk, as well a book of poems entitled This Country of Mothers, she teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee with her husband and three children. Visit her website at www.juliannabaggott.com.
Publisher: Washington Square Press (February 18, 2003)
"An emotional and darkly comic examination of growth, loss, secrets, and lies."
– USA Today
"Julianna Baggott enjoys living on the knife edge between hilarity and heartbreak, and that makes her a writer after my own heart."
– Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
"This second novel establishes Baggott's remarkable talent for creating characters who resonate with readers."
– Library Journal (starred review)
"A charmingly messy tale of love and redemption."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Baggott employs a captivating narrative technique...the two narrators each [have] a compelling style and situation...The Miss America Family shows a pristine, innocent heart with a big, generous, optimistic message."
– The Boston Herald
"Combines the indigenous dysfunction of Phillip Roth's American Pastoral with the uninhibited disclosure of Russell Banks's Rule of the Bone. The result is a tumultuous domestic adventure with soul."