Pizza Girl: A Novel
Jean Kyoung Frazier’s Pizza Girl breathes honesty into narratives surrounding pregnancy and motherhood, and faces the desperate ambivalence that often accompanies these experiences but is left unspoken. We explore this through characters who cling to one another in an attempt to escape the disappointment and stresses of their own personal lives. Pizza Girl presents us with an important sentiment: You cannot outrun the fact that the people who created you will always be a part of you to some degree or another. But you can work to grasp the ways in which you manifest that into who you are as an individual.
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST • An audacious and wryly funny coming-of-age story about a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.
Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial. She's grieving the death of her father, avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.
Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son's happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.
Praise for Pizza Girl: A Novel
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST • Named an NPR, Marie Claire, and Teen Vogue best book of the year and a most anticipated book of the year by Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Time, People, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and more
"Fresh, funny, bittersweet...This book delivers humor, humanity and hubris."
—New York Times Book Review
"Explosive...[Pizza Girl] bristles with biting wit and optimism, each page a feast of Cheeto-fingered heart, humor, and lyricism."
"This quirky, moody novel delivers in unexpected ways."
"Sharp and surprising, Pizza Girl shows us how obsession can fill the empty spaces in a young woman's life. Jean Kyoung Frazier will make you laugh with one sentence and break your heart with the next. A delicious debut."
—Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth
"In fearless, propulsive prose, Jean Kyoung Frazier perfectly captures the listless ache of a grieving, aimless teen on the cusp of terrifying responsibility. A sublime ode to obsessive outcasts and lovable screw-ups everywhere, Pizza Girl is irresistible and bold, brutal and sweet, with an ending that will thrash your heart."
—Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light
"Pizza Girl is luminous, brooding, and, frankly, awe-inspiring. It's a joy to spend time in Frazier's world, an experience that only illuminates our own. The novel that teaches you something about yourself is a rare thing, and Frazier has given us a gift."
—Bryan Washington, author of Lot
"Jean Kyoung Frazier, a blazing new voice in fiction, has given us a sly, poignant glimpse into the wilds of suburbia, where intergenerational queer love and alienation from labor go hand in hand. And who doesn't want to read about that?"
—Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
"To Pizza Girl, Jean Kyoung Frazier brings a flawless ear for language, great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit. This novel has immense appeal."
"Pizza Girl is a funny and moving debut, full of wry observation and deep humanity. Jean Kyoung Frazier’s incredibly winning protagonist delivers laughter and grief with all the toppings. A wonderful novel from a new writer with talent and heart."
—Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark
"Frazier’s darkly comic, unsentimental, subversive debut novel, Pizza Girl, heralds the debut of a wholly-original new kind of American hero, a pregnant, teetering-on-alcoholic Korean-American teenager, as well as the arrival of a wildly gifted writer."
—Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls
“[A] playful and unflinching debut…This infectious evocation of a young woman’s slackerdom will appeal to fans of Halle Butler and Ottessa Moshfegh, and will make it difficult not to root for the troubled and spirited pizza girl.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] quirky and emotionally resonant L.A.-set debut…Offbeat, polished, and heartfelt.”