Publisher's Weekly Just Made My Day

From the April 25 issue of Publisher's Weekly...
Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life

Sandra Beasley. Crown, $23 (240p) ISBN 978-0-307-58811-1

In this intelligent and witty memoir, poet Beasley (I Was the Jukebox) recounts her lifelong struggle to live a normal life while waging a battle against deadly food allergies. The author is one of "more than 12 million Americans who have been diagnosed with food allergies, a figure that includes almost 4% of all children." The title of this enthralling book is not hyperbole. As little as a kiss or hug from a family member or a friend who had eaten cake or ice cream at a birthday party could cause Beasley to break out in hives or, worse, suffer anaphylactic shock. She calls sherbet "sweet, icy death in a bowl." Beasley details her vigilant parents' never-ending routine for keeping her safe during her childhood until she left for college, how she and her friends coped with "the thousand minor hassles of living with" her food allergies during college, and the perils of eating while traveling. Throughout this thoughtful and well-written book, Beasley closes the knowledge gap surrounding food allergies. She writes entertainingly about the history of allergies, and current research findings; religious issues surrounding food allergies; and processed foods and their hidden ingredients. (June)


So much of this book was written under deadline, and with very little feedback from the outside world. It's not like poetry, where by the time a full collection comes out you've had the thousand back-and-forth rounds of response from workshop classmates, journal editors, and readers. So to get an early & positive review is a huge gift. Someone finally read it! And liked it! Let the happy dance commence~