all american dream dolls
  • Milkweed Editions (1997)
  • Harvest Books (1999)
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All American Dream Dolls

What’s an attractive, successful, all-around-together girl to do when she’d dumped at sixty-five miles per hour on the way to a romantic getaway? If you’re Deneen Wilkerson, a “college educated, hardworking, advertising phenom, friend of the earth, and owner of major appliances,” you retreat to rethink—in Deneen’s case, in the basement of her mother’s house in St. Louis for a solitary orgy of talk shows and mental hygiene.

Deneen’s crash and her wildly funny rebirth are chronicled in this beguiling novel of relationships.  When her younger sister becomes a serious contender in the All American Dream Dolls preteen beauty pageant, Deneen finds herself caught up in a universe of handsome promoters, bad Whitney Houston sound-alikes, and wicked hot-oil treatements.  Deneend needs both her wit and wisdom to decide what’s real and what is fool’s gold as she threads the maze of a contemporary wonderland of hype, seeking compassion not only for the women and men in her life but for herself.

Haynes’s strokes are broad, but he delivers a frequently hilarious novel, with consistently on-target punch lines and an eye for real people.