Butter: A Novel

Butter: A Novel

by Anne Panning


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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 contemporary fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875806815
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2012
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,233,500
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Anne Panning  is professor of English at the College at Brockport, State University of New York. She is the author of two critically acclaimed short story collections,The Price of Eggs andSuper America

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Butter: A Novel 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciated this book for its protagonist (and 11-year-old girl who is adopted) and its descriptions of small-town life in Minnesota in the 1970s. I remembered all the cultural details of which Panning writes, including stores dedicated entirely to milk products ("creamery," not "store," one of the characters in the book reminds) The book jacket uses the word "disquieting" to describe the story, and it is. But sometimes life is, too. This would be a good book to read on the beach this summer. It won't rock your world, but it's an entertaining distraction with beautiful writing while you're reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much description with things that didnt matter to the plot and not enough description for the plot itself. The poor main character's life gets worse as the story progresses
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written by a great author!