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The Ihop Papersby Ali Liebegott
Synopses & Reviews
Francesca, a disgruntled nineteen-year-old lesbian, tries desperately to pull together the pieces of her scattered life. This hilarioius, heartfelt novel opens with Francesca newly arrived in San Francisco. She has fled her hometown, where she rented her childhood room from the new family who moved in when her parents moved out. The new tenants happened to be her childhood babysitter and her alcoholic husband. But Francesca's move to San Francisco is no mere coincidence. A lonely virgin searching for her sexual identity and obsessed with her philosophy teacher, Francesca has followed her professor, Irene, to California, where Irene has relocated to live with her young male lover and former student. Once in San Francisco, Francesca is forced to work at the local pancake house. Much to her dismay, she has to wear a ridiculous Heidi of the Alps uniform — which is almost as humiliating as serving the array of speed freaks and other graveyard shift misfits. Suicidal and euphoric, Francesca seeks solace in anything and anyone who might distract her from her unrequited love for Irene. More than a coming of age story, The IHOP Papers is a comic portrait of survival and self-discovery on the IHOP late shift.
"Liebegott's debut novel is a coming-of-age coming-out in the tradition of Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle, but here, the portrait of an artist as punk waitress is more a celebration of sexuality than humanity. Twenty-year-old Francesca is a recovering drunk who finds comfort in cutting herself and harbors fantasies of her beautiful AA sponsor, Maria; her former philosophy teacher, Irene; and a soap opera heroine. 'I wanted everything: Irene's cheekbones, empathy, and wisdom... the sheer beauty and curves of Maria — and the impossibility of Hope from Days of Our Lives,' she confesses. Having followed Irene to San Francisco, Francesca lands a job at the International House of Pancakes, dreams of becoming 'the kind of waitress who can carry five plates on each arm and glide around the room doing a dance of pancakes' and works on her memoir about losing her virginity and never quite finding love. The Lambda Literary Award — winning Liebegott (for her book-length poem The Beautifully Worthless) offers strikingly lyrical moments in an otherwise frank narrative of a writer teetering between adolescence and adulthood." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Ali Liebegotts work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Her book-length poem, The Beautifully Worthless, was published to acclaim in 2005. She has performed her work throughout the country, including twice with Sister Spits Ramblin Road Show. Liebegott is a recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She teaches creative writing at UC San Diego.
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