Cover Image for Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)

A bittersweet, seriously funny novel of a life, a small town, and a key to our troubled times traced through a newspaper columnist’s half-century of taking in, and taking on, the world.

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)

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Print copy

The curmudgeon who wrote the column “Ramblin’s by Walt” in the Granite Creek Gazette dismissed his successor as “puking on paper.” But when Haze Evans first appeared in the small-town newspaper, she earned fans by writing a story about her bachelor uncle who brought a Queen of the Rodeo to Thanksgiving dinner. Now, fifty years later, when the beloved columnist suffers a massive stroke and falls into a coma, publisher Susan McGrath fills the void (temporarily, she hopes) with Haze’s past columns, along with the occasional reprinted responses from readers. Most letters were favorable, although Haze did have her trolls; one Joseph Snell in particular dubbed her “liberal” ideas the “chronicles of a radical hag.” Never censoring herself, Haze chose to mollify her critics with homey recipes—recognizing, in her constantly practical approach to the world and her community, that buttery Almond Crescents will certainly “melt away any misdirected anger.”

Framed by news stories of half a century and annotated with the town’s chorus of voices, Haze’s story unfolds, as do those of others touched by the Granite Creek Gazette, including Susan, struggling with her troubled marriage, and her teenage son Sam, who—much to his surprise—enjoys his summer job reading the paper archives and discovers secrets that have been locked in the files for decades, along with sad and surprising truths about Haze’s past.

With her customary warmth and wit, Lorna Landvik summons a lifetime at once lost and recovered, a complicated past that speaks with knowing eloquence to a confused present. Her topical but timeless Chronicles of a Radical Hag reminds us—sometimes with a subtle touch, sometimes with gobsmacking humor—of the power of words and of silence, as well as the wonder of finding in each other what we never even knew we were missing.

Estimated Ship Date for Winners: March 5th, 2019


© Craig VanDerSchaegen 2018

Lorna Landvik

Lorna Landvik is the author of twelve novels, including the bestselling Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars, Best to Laugh (Minnesota, 2015), and Once in a Blue Moon Lodge (Minnesota, 2017). She has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy around the country and is a public speaker, playwright, and actor most recently in the one-woman, all-improvised show Party in the Rec Room. She lives in Minneapolis.

Book Details

Publisher University of Minnesota Press
Genre General Fiction
Publication Date Mar 26 2019
ISBN 9781517905996


First Impressions

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Mar 04 2019 – 08:54 PM


this sounds like an interesting read that I would enjoy...

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Mar 04 2019 – 11:21 AM

Very interesting!

I have to admit that it took me awhile to actually read a snippet of this book because for...

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Mar 04 2019 – 11:01 AM

Love the cover!!

The first thing to draw me into this story was the cover. It is gorgeous and creative. I was...

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