Facebook, Twitter, Google, Tumblr, Gather, LiveJournal, and the rest. The name of the book is THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES and it's by my friend, mentor and fellow writer Fran Metzman.
Now if you've been with us for the whole ride, you've learned a lot about Fran and the book from reviews, interviews, and press releases, and it's all true. I'd like to say I have some deep dark secrets about her, but I don't. It's on the page. Her mind, her talent, even bits of her life, they are all on the page. So if you haven't already, think about purchasing a copy of "The Hungry Heart Stories," and get to know Fran a little better. You'll be glad you did.
I think I might have an interesting perspective on this short story collection, as I am the only man on this blog tour, but I think agree wholeheartedly with everyone else. Now as a member of Fran's Rainy Tuesdays writing group for over a decade, and the guy who organized this blog tour, you might guess that I'm a Fran fan. But just ask Ms. Metzman herself, and you'll find I don't mince when it comes to critiquing. I personally think some members of that group have actually planned my demise on occasion because of my razor sharp critiques. Let's sum it up to say that if I didn't like these stories, I wouldn't be promoting them. Enough said.
These are stories of women in transition, women in crisis, and as you've been told along this blog tour, the thread of cooking and food runs through them all, some stronger than others. My favorite, "The Right Seasoning," holds a particular memory for me. We workshopped it in our Tuesday night writers group some years ago. As we went around the room verbally giving our critiques, we all began to get hungrier and hungrier. Reading the story, with such wonderful olfactory imagery, hit our stomachs as well as our heads! I loved it.
All of the stories in this collection will hit the reader hard and make them feel. If you read them and walk away unaffected in some way, I don't know what to say. I think this is what literary fiction should be about - soliciting a feeling, a reaction, making the reader think. And if you want to really understand what Fran is doing, I can't recommend enough the last work in the collection, an essay called "Writing and Healing." It says it all. All writers should read that piece.
Buy the book. Read the book. Can I be any more forward than that? I guess not. Now here's where I bribe you. Next week, next Friday, I am going to go through every stop on this virtual book tour, and pick one lucky commenter and award them a free copy of the book. All those affiliated with the blog tour are ineligible (sorry, ladies). Now let's see some comments!