J. Ryan Stradal
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About J. Ryan Stradal
Born and raised in Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal now lives with his family in California, where he is an advisory board member at 826LA and co-producer & host of the literary/culinary series Hot Dish.
His third and latest novel, SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE LAKESIDE SUPPER CLUB, will be published by Viking / Pamela Dorman Books in April 2023, and is now available for pre-order.
His second novel, THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA, was published by Viking / Pamela Dorman Books in July 2019. Receiving starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and BookPage, it became a national bestseller its first week of release, and in 2020, won the WILLA Literary Award in Contemporary Fiction. LAGER QUEEN was named one of the best books of 2019 by USA Today and NPR, among other places, and its rights have been optioned for television.
His first book is the New York Times-bestselling novel KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST (Viking / Pamela Dorman Books). Voted the 2016 Adult Debut Book of the Year in the American Booksellers Association's Indies Choice Book Awards, and named fiction book of the year by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, KITCHENS has also been acquired for publication in twelve other countries. In 2014, prior to publication, the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society awarded KITCHENS first prize in their annual novel competition.
His shorter work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Granta, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review of Books, BuzzFeed, Midnight Breakfast, CNET, and Vanity Fair.com, among other places. He likes books, wine, sports, root beer, and peas.
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Books By J. Ryan Stradal
Who is Eva Thorvald?
To her single father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can put their finger on. Eva will surprise everyone.
On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession.
Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest is about the family you lose, the friends you make and chance connections that can define a life. Joyful, quirky or brazen, everyone lends their voice to tell Eva's story - one that's as heartwarming as it is irresistible, taking the bitter with the sweet.
"[A] charmer of a tale. . . Warm, witty and--like any good craft beer--complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message."
A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can't help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself.
With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: "Drink lots. It's Blotz." Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen's is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it's not too late.
Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up--will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?
Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.