Individual Author Record
Name: Leslie StellaPen Name: None Genre: Fiction Born: 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio Sites:
Illinois ConnectionLeslie Stella has lived in both Cook and Lake County in Illinois. Her books are set in Chicago and include numerous historical, cultural and social references to the city and Chicagoland area.
Biographical and Professional InformationWriter Leslie Stella was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Marquette University before moving to Chicago and starting the zine, Lumpen for which she served as editor and co-publisher. Leslie edited the monthly magazine, which focused on culture and political commentary, from 1992 to 2000. Leslie Stella then moved on to writing novels, starting with Fat Bald Jeff.
- Fat Bald Jeff, Grove Press, 2001
- The Easy Hour, Three Rivers Press, 2003
- Unimaginable Zero Summer, Three Rivers Press, 2005
Titles At Your Library
Fat Bald Jeff
ISBN: 0802137725 Grove Press. 2001
Addie Prewitt is a copy editor for the National Association of Libraries. When her boss, the repulsive Coddles, heaps another new project on her department -- with no additional remuneration naturally -- she decides she's had enough. She spends her days battling with her roommate, Val Wayne Newton, about whether Black Sabbath or Neil Diamond will occupy the turntable and her nights beating her overeager suitor, Martin Lemming, away from the door of her boudoir. When she discovers a piece of vile pornography in Coddles's dry cleaning, she has the means to retaliate. Meanwhile, Fat Bald Jeff, the tech-support guy who has to cope with her mechanical self-sabotage, turns out to be even more disaffected than she, and they hatch the ultimate plan to give the pigs some of their own medicine. With a surreal wit and a keen eye that bring to mind Lily Tomlin set loose in Dilbert-world, Fat Bald Jeff is a sharp satire and a paean to the petty humiliations of workers everywhere.
The Easy Hour: A Novel of Leisure
ISBN: 0609809725 Three Rivers Press. 2003 Welcome to the “Easy” life!
When overworked, underpaid women’s wear retail slave Lisa Galisa (the rhyming name is only the beginning of her agonies) suddenly becomes the personal assistant to an infamous Chicago socialite, she accidentally, hilariously, becomes the toast of the town. Catapulted into the role of trendsetter, this frustrated working-class girl seizes the opportunity to unleash some South Side mayhem on a gullible society that hungrily embraces the next “new thing.”
Lisa offers them the “Easy” lifestyle, encouraging her new crowd to shake it up and party alongside janitors, fry cooks, and bricklayers. Soon she has the upper crust patronizing dive bars, wearing cheddar-hued polyester, and grooving to the bewitchingly canned melodies of easy listening—the emperor’s new music. And the social set is having it.
But as the Bridgeport-born-and-raised charlatan begins to buy into her own fraud, longing to leave behind the land of retail hell and Polish “saah-sidges” for life among the beau monde, her eccentric family and a mysteriously handsome janitor with a penchant for astronomy dip into their own bag of tricks to keep her on the right side of sanity, if on the wrong side of the tracks.
Join Lisa Galisa and the rest of these charming oddballs at the Easy Hour, where they find the best remedy for a hard existence is a little easy listening.
Unimaginable Zero Summer: A Novel
ISBN: 1400081025 Three Rivers Press. 2005 Perhaps you too have experienced the nausea brought on by the arrival of an invitation to a high school reunion.
Bookstore clerk and culture junker Verity Presti will soon attend her fifteenth reunion with her boyfriend, the unfortunately but aptly named Charlie Brown, who lives with his parents while training to be an urban shaman—a modern-day medicine man somewhat capable of exorcising ghosts from apartments and cubicles, predicting baseball scores, and channeling lost pets. Verity, angst-ridden and burdened with fifteen years of magnificent failure, will be reunited with Craig and Carolyn, sickeningly perfect high school sweethearts, married now and perfectly sick of each other Verity’s former crush Stan and his wife, Laurel, a frustrated author of angry haikus and Will, a rage-aholic KJ (that’s “karaoke jockey”) whose only soft spot is the one he still has for Verity. A growing anxiety permeates the round of cocktail parties that precedes the reunion, causing old affections and animosities to boil over and threaten the dubious complacency of these seven lovable losers.
With her trademark sarcasm and uncanny ability to skewer the oddities of contemporary hipster life, Stella has created a cast of endearingly eccentric characters who embody the insecurities and foibles that all of us—former prom desperados, band nerds, the burnout brigade, and loner stiffs—have and hope nobody else will notice.