Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Buffalo Gal: a Memoir" By Laura Pedersen

"Buffalo Gal: a Memoir"
By Laura Pedersen
Publisher: Fulcrum Pub (October 31, 2008)

Most of the time when I read memoir type books I get information from a person's life that is very unlike my own. Mary Carr wrote about growing up in Texas during the 60s in "Liar's Club and David Sedaris is always writing about his strange life through his many books. In this book, "Buffalo Gal" by Laura Pedersen, the author takes a look at her life growing up in the 70's which hits more to home for me. While she grew up in frozen Buffalo, New York and I grew up in tornado riddled Oklahoma, many of the same concepts hit home. Laura Pedersen also takes more of a humorous view of her life creating a very funny read.

Just to give you an idea of who Laura Pedersen is, here's the bio listed on "Laura Pedersen has written for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Going Away Party, Beginner s Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Last Call, Heart s Desire, The Sweetest Hours, and The Big Shuffle. In 1994, President Clinton honored her as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans. She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Primetime Live, and The Late Show with David Letterman, and writes for several well-known comedians. Pedersen lives in New York City."

This book shows how the author’s comedic talent developed; after all, growing up having to dig yourself out of the snow you pretty much have to find something to entertain. Having a mother who was the neighborhood free clinic helped also.

There are many stories about the author’s mom being ever alert to medical problems, someone could sneeze and her mother would be ready to treat yellow fever. That explains why as a teen Laura’s mother would go back to school and actually work in the medical field.

The book begins with a history and development of what in 1901 was the 8th largest city in the United States, but in the hard times of the 70’s became just another northern city. The book then tells of the history of the author’s grandparent’s and their migration into the United States from Ireland and Denmark and succeeding in the land of the free.

Each story and chapter is told with the perfect mix of humor and history to keep the reader anxious to turn the page. I think the funniest aspect of the book of Laura skipping school to ride her bike into Canada and play the horses, or beating her family at poker, all of which led to her becoming the youngest person with a seat on the American Stock Exchange.

Get ready for some history, humor and maybe even a few flashbacks to your childhood with “Buffalo Gal” by Laura Pedersen.

Check out the author's website here;

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