Bigfoot Dreams

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Overview

Finally back in print, "Bigfoot Dreams"--a hilarious comedy of American psychology and pop culture. Vera, the bright, edgy heroine, works for a sleazy supermarket tabloid writing about UFO sightings, miracle cures, and the ever-popular Bigfoot. But then one of the stories Vera invented turns out to be true in ways she could never have dreamed. . . 288 pp. 15,000 print.
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Bigfoot Dreams: A Novel

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Overview

Finally back in print, "Bigfoot Dreams"--a hilarious comedy of American psychology and pop culture. Vera, the bright, edgy heroine, works for a sleazy supermarket tabloid writing about UFO sightings, miracle cures, and the ever-popular Bigfoot. But then one of the stories Vera invented turns out to be true in ways she could never have dreamed. . . 288 pp. 15,000 print.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
You can walk into Vera Perl's Brooklyn apartment house and pick her out of a clutch of tenants: you will recognize her charged, speculative voice. She writes for a yellow rag called This Week, thinks in absurd, alliterative headlines and tailors her made-up stories to photographs taken as if by chance by her colleague Solomon. The fun begins when Solomon snaps two kids selling lemonade on a lawn in Flatbush, and Vera endows them with names and a psychiatrist father, and the water used in the lemonade with astonishing curative qualitiesall of which, except possibly the last, turns out to be true. The paper is slapped with a lawsuit, Vera is fired, her estranged husband Lowell flies in from Los Angeles for a night of love and leaves several days later with their daughter Rosalie. This gives Vera the chance, via a Cryptobiological Society meeting at the Grand Canyon, to pursue her dreams of the eponymous Bigfoot, a monster whose footprints are the size of bathtubs and whose arms shatter buildings with a single swipe. Prose's Hungry Hearts account of these high jinks conveys every scene with psychedelic gusto, an authenticity of language and setting, and an acute sense of character. This is a lollapalooza of a novel, which keeps the reader hanging on every word and conjures believing out of make-believe. April 23
Library Journal
This "lively and upbeat" story follows the life of a tabloid journalist whose professional and family life has gotten so screwy that she dreams the "legendary creature will rescue her" LJ 4/1/86. She is redeemed somewhat when one of her goofy stories turns out to be true.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805048605
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Francine Prose
Francine Prose
Known as much for her wit as she is for her eclecticism, Francine Prose is a true renaissance woman of the literary set. She has written essays, art and literary reviews, translations, children’s books, novellas, and short stories -- not to mention bitingly humorous novels like Bigfoot Dreams and Blue Angel.

Biography

When it comes to an author as eclectic as Francine Prose, it's difficult to find the unifying thread in her work. But, if one were to examine her entire oeuvre—from novels and short stories to essays and criticism—a love of reading would seem to be the animating force. That may not seem extraordinary, especially for a writer, but Prose is uncommonly passionate about the link between reading and writing. "I've always read," she confessed in a 1998 interview with Atlantic Unbound. "I started when I was four years old and just didn't stop…The only reason I wanted to be a writer was because I was such an avid reader." (In 2006, she produced an entire book on the subject—a nuts-and-bolts primer entitled Reading Like a Writer, in which she uses excerpts from classic and contemporary literature to illustrate her personal notions of literary excellence.)

If Prose is specific about the kind of writing she, herself, likes to read, she's equally voluble about what puts her off. She is particularly vexed by "obvious, tired clichés; lazy, ungrammatical writing; implausible plot turns." Unsurprisingly, all of these are notably absent in her own work. Even when she explores tried-and-true literary conventions—such as the illicit romantic relationship at the heart of her best known novel, Blue Angel—she livens them with wit and irony. She even borrowed her title from the famous Josef von Sternberg film dealing with a similar subject.

As biting and clever as she is, Prose cringes whenever her work is referred to as satire. She explained to Barnes & Noble.com, "Satirical to me means one-dimensional characters…whereas, I think of myself as a novelist who happens to be funny—who's writing characters that are as rounded and artfully developed as the writers of tragic novels."

Prose's assessment of her own work is pretty accurate. Although her subject matter is often ripe for satire (religious fanaticism in Household Saints, tabloid journalism in Bigfoot Dreams, upper-class pretensions in Primitive People), etc.), she takes care to invest her characters with humanity and approaches them with respect. "I really do love my characters," she says, "but I feel that I want to take a very hard look at them. I don't find them guilty of anything I'm not guilty of myself."

Best known for her fiction, Prose has also written literary criticism for The New York Times, art criticism for The Wall Street Journal, and children's books based on Jewish folklore, all of it infused with her alchemic blend of humor, insight,and intelligence.

Good To Know

Prose rarely wastes an idea. In Blue Angel, the novel that the character Angela is writing is actually a discarded novel that Prose started before stopping because, in her own words, "it seemed so juvenile to me."

While she once had no problem slamming a book in one of her literary critiques, these days Prose has resolved to only review books that she actually likes. The ones that don't adhere to her high standards are simply returned to the senders.

Prose's novel Household Saints was adapted into an excellent film starring Tracey Ullman, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Lili Taylor in 1993.

Another novel, The Glorious Ones, was adapted into a musical.

In 2002, Prose published The Lives of the Muses, an intriguing hybrid of biography, philosophy, and gender studies that examines nine women who inspired famous artists and thinkers—from John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono to Alice Liddell, the child who enchanted Lewis Carroll.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 1, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Radcliffe College, 1968

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