Even though Pizza Girl, debut novel by alumna Jean Kyoung Frazier ’18 has yet to hit bookstores (scheduled for release this summer), it has already made a mark as one of the more anticipated titles of the year.
Lit Hub, celebrated it in an article headlined “Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2020,” while another influential publication, Electric Lit, laid out a buzzworthy welcome mat in a roundup titled, “Get Ready for the 20 Most Anticipated Debuts of Early 2020.”
Joining the chorus of Frazier fans, Publisher’s Weekly called the book a “playful and unflinching debut,” filled with “raw” contemporary types and “startlingly observant” dialogue. Publisher’s Weekly described the book as an “infectious evocation of a young woman’s slackerdom.”
The slacker in question, the pizza girl of the title, is a pregnant 18-year-old pizza delivery driver, muddling through her life as a hapless outcast in suburban Los Angeles. This narrator, who remains nameless, slides through life in denial about her pregnancy and her emotional ties with her mother and her boyfriend Billy; at the same time, she grieves for her recently deceased father, and their own conflicted relationship.
During the course of her delivery rounds, she meets up with Jenny Hauser, a 39-year-old stay-at-home mom who is also adrift in her life. The two women establish a strong emotional bond; every week, pizza girl delivers pickled covered pizzas to Jenny, while finding herself obsessed with the older woman; the relationship changes the narrator’s sense of the world and her place in it.
By turns, funny and serious, Pizza Girl charts the complicated, poignant, darkly comic, and fateful turns that come with this emotionally charged bond. The book, says Julia Phillips, author of the acclaimed novel Disappearing Earth, “will make you laugh with one sentence and break your heart with the next. A delicious debut.”