Tender is the Brisket

71DqiaiNVuLPhiladelphia-based humorist and freelance writer Stacia Freedman has a knack for one-liners and her snappy new novel, Tender is the Brisket, is peppered with them.  The recession must have ended while I was on the crosstown bus, reflects one character.  Adorable was the term Katya used to describe things that were too small for her, be they apartments, diamonds or men.

The author of numerous feature articles and essays, Friedman has tried her hand at writing for film and television and pursued graduate studies in screenwriting.  In Tender is the Brisket, as well as her earlier book, Nothing Toulouse, she hones in on women writers who are, in her description, “on their way up, down and sideways.” Lilith Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough recently caught up with her and her witty aperçus on topics as diverse as Jane Austen, Nora Ephron and The Lucy Show.

YZM: How did you made the leap from nonfiction to fiction?

SF: I actually started out as an aspiring TV and film comedy writer without any serious literary ambitions. I didn’t want to be Jane Austen. I wanted to be Nora Ephron. After five years in the “biz” in LA, I returned east and started taking freelance writing gigs. I wrote humor pieces for newspapers, features for magazines, anything that paid the bills.  But I never gave up The Dream. I kept churning out comedic screenplays, plays and eventually novels.  After all these years, it’s gratifying to discover that there is an appreciative audience for my style of social satire. And if one of my novels were to be adapted to TV or film? That would be fine!

4 comments on “Tender is the Brisket

  1. Suzanne Fluhr on

    I’m half way through Stacia Friedman ‘ s other book, “Nothing Toulouse”. As a woman of a certain age and a native Philadelphian, her work resonates for me and keeps me grinning (and occasionally laughing out loud)—-even while reading a murder mystery. I’m kind of avoiding “Tender Is the Brisket”. I’m afraid it might hit a little to close to home—but that shouldn’t stop others who need a laugh while dealing with the tough subject of the end of our parents” lives.

  2. Kathy @ SMART LIving 365.com on

    Sounds like a great book with lots of laughs AND heart. I like how you express it by saying it is a book for those of us “who are progressive in their values but still haunted by the shadow of their mothers’ judgment.”

  3. Mary Dougherty on

    I am frequently encouraging any friends who read (and, recently, a stranger on a domestic flight) to read Stacia Friedman. You don’t need to be Jewish to appreciate the jokes, the characters, the stories.

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