Ice cream, immigration basis of hit summer read - KMSP-TV

Ice cream, immigration basis of hit summer read

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

There is something about ice cream that is so appealing to author Susan Jane Gilman that she made it a key part of her first novel, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street.

"I wanted to write a real delicious anti-hero; somebody you root for," said Gilman.

The story is told in first person to the main character's punk rock grandson. She's 75 years old and under indictment and as Gilman puts it: "in private would rather drink than eat ice cream."

It is inspired by the true stories of the founders of Carvel and Haggen Dazs ice cream and is largely an immigrant story.

"Prohibition was great for ice cream. In World War II, America became the largest ice cream manufacturer in history," said Gilman who wove those facts into the book.

While the novel is making a splash and considered a perfect summertime, one of Gilman's biggest fans is none other than the wildly successful author Frank McCourt who was Gilman's teacher.

"He was one of those high school teachers who told me to go for it. He had me published when I was 16 years old. We stayed friends. Fate had different plans for him," said Gilman.

She dedicated "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street" to McCourt.





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