A Commonplace Book of Pie is my Little Zine that Could. It started as a handmade lark—just one part of a collaborative art project with sculptor Brian Schoneman. With the support of independent booksellers, it went on to become a paperback bestseller in Seattle. Today there are 2000 copies in print at indie bookstores across the nation. That may not warrant a New York Times mention (though Pie Stand recently did), but that’s a lot of copies for a book of poems. Especially one without an ISBN.
In October 2013, A Commonplace Book of Pie will be published as a full-length illustrated book by Chin Music Press. They’re the folks who brought us the gorgeous Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer. They know how to make beautiful, affordable, smart books, and lucky for me, they love pie. I am extremely excited to work with them.
Copies of the original zine can be purchased on Etsy while supplies last. Once this printing is out, it’s out.
About the Book
A Commonplace Book of Pie is an odd combination of high art, pop culture, practical resource, and fantasy zodiac. I call it “a collection of facts both real and imagined about pie.” It’s a poetry book that fits in the cookbook section, a cookbook that resists the demands of traditional recipes. It makes a great gift or cute impulse buy, but it’s also a thoughtful exploration of the tension between the container and the contained. Just as pastry contains filling, body hides spirit, behavior hides intention, fear hides hope. One can read A Commonplace Book of Pie as a fanciful take on what your favorite dessert says about you, or one can read it as a manifesto of, as Heather McHugh describes it, “not so much the secret’s telling as the telling secret.”
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