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Fried Green Tomatoes
Fannie Flagg: Fried Green Tomatoes
Fannie Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, has had an astounding life. As a child she was named Patricia Neal and was a native to Birmingham, Alabama. She was born there in September of 1941, and was the daughter of a small business owner named William H. Neal.
Even when Patricia was known lovingly as the "peanut" she was a bigger handful than an elephant. She was an energetic and lively girl with a powerful imagination. The author claims it spelled trouble, or future writer.
Fannie Flagg's writing and show business career began in the fifth grade when she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a three-act comedy called "The Whopee Girls," which brought the audience to hysteria, but got her expelled from school for using the word "martini."
At age 19, Fannie began writing and producing TV specials, and since then has appeared in more than 500 shows and in many motion picture and stage productions, including Candid Camera, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Love Boat, and Grease
Fannie Flagg, (as she later changed her name to), was quite good at acting and comedy, but when she decided to take up writing in her late thirties, she never knew that her book would be such a success. The novel, received rave reviews, high praise and gained more serious recognition by critics and the public eye overall. Being so, producer Jon Avnet turned it into a movie, starring Mary Stuart Masterson.
There is a striking resemblance between Fannie Flagg's young life as Patricia Neal and her main character, Idgie Threadgood. Both young women grew up in the same area in Alabama with the same tenacity and vitality to their personality. The book is almost like a biography of her younger life.
In real life, there actually was a cafe ran by two women companions in a small town near Birmingham, Alabama around the time that Fannie Flagg was growing up, but it was not called the Whistle Stop Cafe. It was known as the Irondale Cafe.
FGT doesn't deal only with life in small-town Alabama, it also focuses on a middle-aged woman named Evelyn Couch and her troubles in going through a mid-life crisis. In her time of need, she found herself turning to an elderly friend for advice and companionship, which was what Fannie Flagg did. She had a close relationship with her grandmother and often went to her for comfort.
Fannie Flagg once told an interviewer why she writes, she explained: "I am a keeper of dreams, a collector of illusions locked for a lifetime inside the observers eys, a slave of memory, pulled by an invisible string to a time and place that forever haunts me." In other words, writing her book was her way of expressing her thoughts and memories that she had been holding far too long.
Fannie Flagg is also an actress, screenwriter, director, and comedienne.
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