Pizza Girl delivers a piping hot and fresh update on the classic slacker novel. The titular pie slinger is 18 and aimless. She could use some personal space and time to figure out life. Instead, she’s stuck in close quarters at home with her mom and moved-in boyfriend. She’s driving deliveries in a compact clunker to an isolated housewife whose son must have his weekly large pepperoni and pickle to survive. She’s hiding out in her self-destructive dead father’s shed to watch infomercials, drink beers, and mourn him as she wonders if she’s only inherited his worst habits. And she’s pregnant, too. Frazier’s penned a sardonic self-help antidote that’s not about fixing-healing-cleansing-improving but about coming to terms with the person you are and figuring out how to live with it.— Chris Lee
An emotional, somber look into the life of Pizza Girl. Eighteen years old and pregnant, living with her mom and boyfriend in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Pizza Girl quietly grieves the loss of her father. She deals with the monotony of her life until one day she takes an unusual request from a customer. Jenny is an overwhelmed mother that has just moved into the neighborhood, and a pickle pizza is the only thing that her young son will eat. Fortunately for Jenny, Pizza Girl saves the day and Jenny's sanity. Pizza Girl's relationship with Jenny soon blurs the line between employee and customer, and she finds herself thinking about Jenny all the time. Waiting for those weekly phones calls so she can deliver the pizza; in the meantime what could it hurt to just drive by Jenny's house unannounced? Jean Kyoung Frazier delivers a provocative novel worthy of your attention.— Jen Steele
June 2020 Indie Next List
“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.”
— Jack Hawthorn, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS
*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.
About the Author
JEAN KYOUNG FRAZIER lives in Los Angeles. Pizza Girl is her debut novel.
"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.”