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Fanny on Fire Paperback – October 27, 2017
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"Fanny on Fire is wonderfully creative, funny, touching, and seductive. Edith G. Tolchin's sense of humor and the ridiculous are like getting on a fast-moving train or a Coney Island roller coaster."
-Elliot Tiber (1935-2016), artist, "Big Daddy of Woodstock," and author of Taking Woodstock, Palm Trees on the Hudson, and After Woodstock
About the Author
Edith G. Tolchin has written non-fiction material for many years, including a business-lifestyle column for an upstate New York newspaper, Orange Magazine, Hudson Valley Life, WebMD, Bottom Line Personal, and Entrepreneur, and she's been a columnist for Inventors Digest since 2000. She's the author and editor of SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL INVENTING: From Concept to Commerce, as well as co-author (with Don Debelak and Eric Debelak) of SOURCING SMARTS: Keeping it Simple and SAFE with China Sourcing and Manufacturing. As the owner of EGT Global Trading since 1997, she works with inventors to bring their dreams to life. Edie's thirty-year kitchen obsession has helped her perfect such delights as Grammy Jane's Jewish Penicillin, Latkes to Die For, and Brisket with Secret Sauce. She craves the chaos of crashing dishes, the clean-up calisthenics from pots boiled over, and the challenging of senses with strange odors and tastes, all of which evoke unique Yiddish profanities.
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The story moves back and forth from Fanny's earlier life to her present day life as sought after cooking show hostess and cook book author. That format kept me engaged because I would become interested in the development of a particular character or relationship of Fanny's and then that sub-story would be suspended as the book transitioned to another point in time in Fanny's life. I would look forward to getting to the next place in the book where that sub-story would resume. It's similar to the anticipation that builds up as one waits to watch the next episode of a TV mini-series.
The book is a fun read. I enjoyed the translations of common Jewish terms and phrases, some of them of the "R-rated" variety. The description of various Jewish traditions was interesting as they related to Fanny and her family. I love food and therefore I really enjoyed reading about Fanny's development as a chef from modest beginnings to acclaimed personality. Her vivid descriptions of her dishes made my mouth water and stomach cry out for a sample. I would love to have been present at her home as she experimented on new dishes and also on the set of her cooking show so I could enjoy the sights, aromas, and taste of her culinary creations. Her many cooking show guests were a hoot! Her cooking show was also one place where her "un-filtered mouth" was on full display in humorous fashion.
"Fanny on Fire" is often hilarious. But, there are also some somber moments and events. There are plenty of valuable insights into life, personal relationships, finding true love, life choices, the value of family and friends, the blessing of children, and perseverance in the face of hardship. All of this is presented in an upbeat manner. This is the author's first fiction book and it is certainly an auspicious start for her. I look forward her follow-up book, "Fanny Granny." I expect that it will be a blast to read!
Edith Tolchin takes you on a Meshugah (crazy)journey on her Jewish cooking show. Many of the over 70 age will recognize her Yiddish expressions that spice up the tale without the need of definitions.
The boomers and millennials speak her language and they will especially enjoy the book. They may need some of the Yiddish translations. The retirement group will laugh, but may raise an eyebrow at her many seductions and marriages. They may say oy vey (oh my gosh) and laugh even when offended. The Yiddish expressions do spice up her story.
The retirement community can certainly relate to the ‘twerking for seniors’ in the chairs many will call chair aerobics. They well know
the loose morals and profanities are simply part of today’s generation they will laugh and say oy gelvalt (frustration) what is the world coming to.
Told in vignettes that are by turns comical, painful, and touching, Fanny perseveres and ultimately triumphs when she creates, out of chaos, a life filled with security and love. Fanny would tell you that a country song is three chords and the truth. In Edith Goldstein Tolchin's hands, Fanny's story sings.
This book will make you smile. Fanny's adventures in life, love and marriages (yes plural marriages) are all told with a yiddishkeit humor typical of Fanny's Bronx roots. Add a point if you are nostalgic for express buses. Fanny is a funny light read that will have you laughing out loud.