J. Ryan Stradal: KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST at Java John's

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 7:00pm

Join Dragonfly Books and Java John’s Coffee House with New York Times Bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal and his new novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Stradal will share his stories and talk about his new book as we sample some iconic midwestern dishes at Java John’s Coffee House on Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00 pm.

J. RyanA native of Hastings, Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal is no stranger to midwestern life and cuisine. In Kitchens of the Great Midwest (Pamela Dorman Books, 2015) Stradal delves into the American heartland, sweeping the vast landscape of Lutheran church bake-offs, chili-pepper--eating contests, and the opening of deer season to capture the zeitgeist of the Midwest and the rise of foodie culture.

Showing the ways in which food provides us with both comfort and community, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is by turns quirky, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Midwestern Chef Lars Thorvald has three loves in his life -- his kitchen; his wife, Cynthia; and his newborn daughter, Eva. When Cynthia falls in love with wine -- and a dashing sommelier -- he’s left to raise Eva on his own, and devotes his life to sharing his passions with his only child, starting with puréed pork shoulder.

Each chapter in this startlingly original debut tells the story of how a single dish or ingredient came into Eva’s life -- culminating in an opulent, emotional feast that’s a testament to Eva’s spirit and resilience. Featuring midwestern classics such as lutefisk, venison, and bars, this is a literary feast you won’t want to miss.

Born and raised in Southern Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal now lives and works in Los Angeles County, CA. He works as the fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown, editor-at-large at Unnamed Press in Los Angeles, and is on the curatorial board for LitCrawl LA. Stradal’s shorter writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and NFL.com.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is Stradal’s first novel and reached the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller list on its third week of release. So far, Kitchens has been acquired for publication overseas in seven countries, and in November 2014, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society awarded Kitchens of the Great Midwest first prize in their annual novel competition. All of this still feels really, really strange to him.

Join us to hear more about J. Ryan Stradal and his new book on Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00 pm at Java John’s Coffee House. If you find that you can't make it to the event but would still like to purchase one of Stradal’s books, just give Dragonfly Books a call at 563-382-4275. One of our staff will be glad to reserve a book and have it autographed for you.

This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books and hosted at Java John’s Coffee House at 400 W. Water St., Decorah and is free and open to the public. To learn more about this and other events at Dragonfly Books, please visit www.dragonflybooks.com, or contact us at events@dragonflybooks.com or 563-382-4275.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - July 28th, 2015

"A sweet and savory treat." --People

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