The Works of Jayne Pupek

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Richmond, VA, United States
Jayne Pupek is the author of the novel "Tomato Girl" (Algonquin Books, 2008) and a book of poems titled "Forms of Intercession" (Mayapple Press, 2008). Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals. In addition to her own writing, Jayne freelances as a ghostwriter, editor and mentor. A Virginia native, Jayne has spent most of her professional life working in the field of mental health.

Contact Jayne

To contact Jayne, email


Sunday, August 31, 2008


Kathy at BermundaOnion is hosting a book giveaway. To learn how to enter to win an autographed copy of Tomato Girl, please visit her site.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.

Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.

She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.
How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Review at The Pedestal Magazine

Review at The Pedestal Magazine

Reviewer: Alice Osborn

Jayne Pupek's Tomato Girl is ostensibly one more novel about a Southern girl growing up in a dysfunctional family, but it's so much more than another Secret Life of Bees or Ellen Foster. Creating a novel that is well-paced and authentic with vulnerable and memorable characters, Pupek throws the proverbial rocks up a tree at her protagonist, eleven year-old Ellie Sanders. Ellie lives with her mentally unstable mother, Julia, and her doting but adulterous father, Rupert, in racially-divided Granby, Virginia (a fictional town), in 1969. Throughout the book, Ellie's troubles never seem to relent, except when she lets the river take them away at the end.

Read the complete review here.

Barack Obama's DNC Speech

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On Becoming a Novelist

On Becoming a Novelist
August 27th, 2008 by me
Jayne Pupek’s first novel, Tomato Girl (Algonquin Books, 2008) just released yesterday—and has the most delicious cover to go with its delcicious title! Her book of poetry, Forms of Intercession, was published by Mayapple Press in January. We should all have such a great year! - Meg

Everyone’s heard the story of the karaoke singer who gets discovered in a bar. How I became a novelist sounds a little like that story. At least on the surface.

After a career in mental health, I found myself at home full-time with my children. I had more time on my hands than ever before, particularly once my trio started school. While I turned much of my attention to my menagerie of animal companions, I also absorbed myself in my lifelong love of books and writing. I enrolled in a writing workshop and online groups for poets. I had no real thoughts to publish, although I gradually began to send out a few poems. Some were accepted. Most were not. I kept at it and improved. Some days I even thought of myself as a poet.

Fiction was another matter.

Read the rest of the essay on Meg Waite Clayton's 1st Books Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama Picks Biden as VP

M. Spencer Green, AP

Joe Biden is one of the good guys. I'm thrilled that Obama has chosen him for the ticket.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Review at Feminist Review

Ann Hite reviewed Tomato Girl on The Feminist Review:

The voice that greets me in Tomato Girl is so rich and authentic that I am not surprised to find that the author is a native of Virginia. Jayne Pupek is a poet (Forms of Intercession) and author, whose writing has appeared in many literary journals. My first thought upon finishing her debut novel was, "How can I ever read another book again?" My second thought: "How can I write a review of this book? What words could I put on paper that would come close to expressing the emotional impact that resonates in the pages?"

Have you ever picked up a book, read the first few pages, and knew this was a book that you wanted to stretch out as long as possible, savoring not only the story but the language? Tomato Girl is one of those novels.

Read the rest of Ann's review here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Interview at Blogcritics

An Interview with First Time Novelist Jayne Pupek
Written by Lisa Solod Warren
Published August 18, 2008

Jayne Pupek’s first novel Tomato Girl is scheduled for publication August 26, by the prestigious southern publisher Algonquin Press. Pupek is something of an anomaly in today’s publishing world; although she had published a book of poetry, Tomato Girl is her first novel and both getting an agent and getting a publisher were rather easier than most first-time novelists find.

“Sometimes the stars align the right way,” says Pupek.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Courier-Journal Review

August 16, 2008

Family secrets and lies

Jayne Pupek's first novel puts her among the ranks of Southern masters like McCullers and O'Connor

By L. Elisabeth Beattie
Special to The Courier-Journal

Don't be fooled by the dust jacket photograph of the lithesome girl twirling in her bright yellow dress or by the down-home title, Tomato Girl, of former social worker Jayne Pupek's first novel. For there's nothing any more cute, cozy or clich├ęd about this fast-paced, powerfully written tale than there is anything domestic or redemptive about family violence.

The contrast between the ordinary, post-World War II Southern, middle-class family of this fiction and the grotesqueries of their secret existence magnify the horrors of Pupek's plot.

Readers expect characters with criminal intent to commit heinous acts, but when well-intentioned characters falter, readers' frames of reference fade. It is far more frightening to realize the unlimited human capacity to commit unspeakable acts than it is to think that only a few bad seeds taint the species...

Read the rest of the review here.



Ellie Sanders mama is crazy; this we find straight off in Tomato Girl, Jayne Pupek’s evocative first novel. It is hinted that her mama is so crazy she keeps a fetus in a jar. And she has spells, odd and scary ones that Ellie has no idea how to deal with. Ellie’s father, who seems to adore her and takes care of both her and her crazy mother, is beset by devils of his own, one of which comes in the form of a beautiful teenaged girl who sells tomatoes to the store that Ellie’s father manages.

Read the rest of the review here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Michelle Tooker reviews Forms of Intercession on THE FEMINIST REVIEW

Forms of Intercession

By Jayne Pupek
Mayapple Press

Forms of Intercession by poet and counselor, Jayne Pupek, is filled with haunting, powerful poems that will leave any reader open-mouthed. I like to think Pupek garnered much of her inspiration from her work in psychology, not from her own life experiences, though the subject matter in Forms of Intercession is truly heart wrenching either way.


CL Bledsoe also wrote a review published in GHOTI MAGAZINE:

Forms of Intercession, poems by Jayne Pupek. Bay City, MI: Mayapple Press. $15.95. 2008.

Pupek opens with the title poem, “Forms of Intercession,” which introduces many of the themes of the book, “These days, I’m torn between picking scabs/ and charting my future in the stars”, Pupek says. The scabs, of course, could be taken to imply emotional wounds, and later, the poem states, “At forty-three, I’m too old to wait on a redeemer./ Sometimes you must intercede on your own behalf.” It is a call to action that resonates fiercely, especially when balanced with the world-imagery earlier, ranging from critics, “If you came with a dull knife, go home”, to much more sinister dangers. The thrill of her honesty is invigorating; Pupek isn’t donning rose-colored glasses, choosing to ignore the horrors of the world; she is simply choosing to persevere.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Featured Author on LibraryThing

I'm delighted to be a Featured Author today on LibraryThing.

I'll also be hosting an Author Chat there early in September. Look for details as we get closer to the date.

"Tomato Girl" is available for pre-order at
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Guest Blogging

I'm pleased to announce that I'm a guest today on "A Good Blog Is Hard to Find." This is a group of Southern authors who blog about books, writing, new releases and other things. I wrote about how I got the idea for Tomato Girl.


Jayne Pupek, author of "Tomato Girl" (Algonquin Books, 2008)

People sometimes ask where I got the idea for my novel, "Tomato Girl." Most people want to know if the events in the story are based on actual events. They aren't. I did what writers do best: I lied.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The Fountain Bookstore, Inc.: New Southern Star Jayne Pupek Talks and Signs (September 2 at 18:30)

(The New Southern Star bit was NOT my idea, I swear. I'm as ordinary as apple pie...with ice cream...French vanilla, of course.)

Event webpage is found here.

Earlier that day, I'll appear on Virginia This Morning, on WTVR, for an interview. Virginia This Morning is Central Virginia's only LIVE, local morning talk show. I guess that means I better drink three cups of coffee and wear some lipstick.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


About the Manifest Hope Gallery Contest Political Action and Obey Giant invite you to show your art at the Democratic National Convention at the Manifest Hope Gallery in Denver!
Art plays a pivotal role in creating cultural momentum. Shepard Fairey's Obama HOPE poster is a perfect example of a work of art having immediate impact across the country. has partnered with Shepard Fairey to create the Manifest Hope Online Gallery Art Contest.

This is your chance to get involved. Submit your artwork themed around Hope, Change, Progress, Unity and Patriotism—the themes that Obama's campaign brought to public awareness. You can submit any kind of art: painting, sculpture, collage—any 2D or 3D creation that exemplifies the positive themes of Obama's campaign.

To find out more, visit the website.


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