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Buffalo Gal by Laura Pedersen

Buffalo Gal

by Laura Pedersen

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I laughed through all three of Laura Pedersen’s Hallie Palmer novels, centered on a singular young woman and her oddball life, family and hometown. Little did I know at the time that her heroine was rooted not in Ms. Pedersen’s imagination but in her own decidedly quirky upbringing.

Buffalo Gal is a memoir that begins with Laura Pedersen’s birth Buffalo NY in 1965 and ends as she nears her adult years her mom and dad’s approach to parenting is best described aslaissez faire. So it’s no wonder Ms. Pedersen, an only child, grew up with a different, a bit skewed take on the world around her.

She inherited a financial/entrepreneurial gene from her grandmother and discovered in her early teens that she loved the stock market (and, no surprise, gambling). After that Ms. Pedersen was on her way to becoming the youngest person to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange – only one piece of her most interesting life.

I don’t think it’s in Laura Pedersen’s DNA to be anything but funny. Her memoir is insightful; her writing crackles; her humor, though biting at times, is essentially kind and mostly un-cynical. In her hands, the city of Buffalo becomes an important character, not just part of the scenery. Laura Pedersen also brings the 1970s to life for readers to the point I felt I was reading social history and not a memoir (and that’s definitely not a criticism). If it is possible to write a memoir that is not overly self-centered, Laura Pedersen has done it. (It’s so good, I’m suggesting Buffalo Gal for my non-fiction readers’ group.)

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library January 2, 2009.
  NewsieQ | Mar 27, 2009 |
  schmadeke | Oct 23, 2008 |
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