From Publishers Weekly
Imaginative in concept and execution, Otto's remarkable first novel is designed with deliberate analogies to quilt-making; like the scraps of fabric that make up a quilt, a series of neat vignettes cumulatively reveal the lives of eight members of a woman's sewing group in a small California town, in portraits that include their families and neighbors. Moreover, each chapter is followed by a short set of "Instructions," which provide lucid explanations of the histories, designs and techniques of various quilt patterns that reflect and symbolize the conditions of the characters' lives. The instructions also carry a subtext: assemble and stitch a quilt as you would build and sustain a human relationship. The women who form Otto's narrative quilt include two sisters whose love for each other survives sexual betrayal; a fearless teenager who loses her determination to lead a free, unfettered life when she traps herself into marriage; a half-black woman who cannot escape her heritage; a wife who forgives her husband's flagrant affairs. The economically phrased, intricately designed narrative touches on the larger issues of war, prejudice and the economic condition of women. Concluding with a description of the Crazy Quilt, "the pattern with the least amount of discipline and the greatest measure of emotion," this affecting novel demonstrates that a writer's self-discipline can engender in a reader a significant emotional response. First serial to McCall's; Literary Guild alternate; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
From the Inside Flap
"Remarkable...An affirmation of the strength and power of individual lives, and the way they cannot help fitting together."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
An extraordinay and moving reading experience, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT is an exploration of women of yesterday and today, who join together in a uniquely female experience. As they gather year after year, their stories, their wisdom, their lives, form the pattern from which all of us draw warmth and comfort for ourselves.
A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE COMING OUT FALL 1995
-- with Maya Angelou, Winona Ryder, and Rip Torn