The Long Chalkboard and Other Stories

    (Pantheon, 2006)
™ and © 2006 Jenny Allen, Jules Feiffer

Each of these whimsical short stories deals with the fears and frustrations of the baby boomer generation. Writer Jenny Allen’s prose is sparse, containing illustrations on each page by her husband and comic strip legend Jules Feiffer. “The Long Chalkboard” tells of a chalkboard and the generations of pleasure it gives several diverse families. In “What Happened,” a war between two children’s book authors leads to unexpected love. “Judy’s Wonder Chili” is about a woman with good intentions whose quirky personality and gourmet cooking is used by the media and the public for everything except making people feel better.

While these slices of life run from funny to bittersweet, Allen’s ultimate message is that sometimes, despite our best efforts… things can turn out all right.

— Jerry Smith

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Hardcover; B&W; ca. 2006Jenny AllenJules Feiffer