SOUTHERN FRIED DIVORCE: A Woman Unleashes Her Hound and His Dog in the Big Easy

Judy Conner, Author . Gotham $23 (223p) ISBN 978-1-59240-121-5

In this memoir previously published by a small press, Conner—older sis of the bestselling Sweet Potato Queen, Jill Conner Browne—takes a candid, humorous look at her divorce from "that ex-husband," "that X" or "X." At first the book walks and talks like a missive from an airhead woman who languishes in an unfulfilling relationship. But just as reader exasperation begins creeping in, Conner proves she's a smart woman with a plan: after the split, instead of being contentious, Conner chooses to treat X right, declaring, "I was going to do this divorce my way." She continues charming readers with her folksy, down-home tone and wit, along with her sharp observational skills, especially when it comes to relationships. Each chapter reminisces about the antics of X, the author and a stray dog who becomes a part of the family. And each teaches a lesson Conner learned that she brings home in one succinct phrase (e.g., "Comeuppance watching is big fun. Comeuppance receiving ain't. Avoid it"). Conner also includes recipes, which is perfectly natural when the anecdotal settings involve New Orleans gatherings and parties. She's achieved a commendable feat in combining memoir, cookbook and self-help book into one funny-as-hell package. Agent, Janis Donnaud. (Jan.)

Forecast: Bubbling admiration from Rick Bragg ("it feels so true") and John Goodman ("more fun than a box of glue-huffing monkeys on St. Peter and Bourbon"), plus the exposure a major publisher can provide, plus being the sister of a bestselling author should equa l big sales.

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-0-9714076-8-8
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-0-7862-7475-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-9055-1
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