“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
Otto's remarkable debut, a series of vignettes that cumulatively reveal the lives of eight members of a women's sewing group, spent seven weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list and was a Literary Guild alternate.