How to Make an American Quilt

Publisher: Ballantine Books
“Remarkable . . . It is a tribute to an art form that allowed women self-expression even when society did not. Above all, though, it is an affirmation of the strength and power of individual lives, and the way they cannot help fitting together.”—The New York Times Book Review

An extraordinary and moving novel, How to Make an American Quilt is an exploration of women of yesterday and today, who join together in a uniquely female experience. As they gather year after year, their stories, their wisdom, their lives, form the pattern from which all of us draw warmth and comfort for ourselves.

The inspiration for the major motion picture featuring Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, and Maya Angelou

Praise for How to Make an American Quilt

“Fascinating . . . highly original . . . These are beautiful individual stories, stitched into a profoundly moving whole. . . . A spectrum of women’s experience in the twentieth century.”Los Angeles Times

“Intensely thoughtful . . . In Grasse, a small town outside Bakersfield, the women meet weekly for a quilting circle, piercing together scraps of their husbands’ old workshirts, children’s ragged blankets, and kitchen curtains. . . . Like the richly colored, well-placed shreds that make up the substance of an American quilt, details serve to expand and illuminate these characters. . . . The book spans half a century and addresses not only [these women’s] histories but also their children’s, their lovers’, their country’s, and in the process, their gender’s.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A radiant work of art . . . It is about mothers and daughters; it is about the estrangement and intimacy between generations. . . . A compelling tale.”The Seattle Times

READ AN EXCERPT

At first,I thought I ould study art.Art history,to be exact. Then I thought,No,what about physical anthropology?--a point in my life thereafter referred to as My Jane Goodall Period.I tried to imagine my mother,Sarah Bennett-Dodd (called Sally by everyone with the exception of her mother),camping with me in the African...
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READING GUIDE

1. How To Make An American Quilt moves between a more tradi- tional story-telling format and a more educational series of sections that focus on the making of quilts,and the historical significance around them.What do you think of these sec- tions of the novel?How did they add to your experience of the story?...

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PRAISE FOR

“Remarkable . . . It is a tribute to an art form that allowed women self-expression even when society did not. Above all, though, it is an affirmation of the strength and power of individual lives, and the way they cannot help fitting together.”The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating . . . highly original . . . These are beautiful individual stories, stitched into a profoundly moving whole. . . . A spectrum of women’s experience in the twentieth century.”Los Angeles Times

“Intensely thoughtful . . . In Grasse, a small town outside Bakersfield, the women meet weekly for a quilting circle, piercing together scraps of their husbands’ old workshirts, children’s ragged blankets, and kitchen curtains. . . . Like the richly colored, well-placed shreds that make up the substance of an American quilt, details serve to expand and illuminate these characters. . . . The book spans half a century and addresses not only [these women’s] histories but also their children’s, their lovers’, their country’s, and in the process, their gender’s.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A radiant work of art . . . It is about mothers and daughters; it is about the estrangement and intimacy between generations. . . . A compelling tale.”The Seattle Times