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.

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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.