Meet Mandy Mikulencak, Author of “The Last Suppers”

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The Last Suppers

Set in 1950s Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak’s beautifully written and emotionally moving novel evokes both The Help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meals for death row prisoners leads her into the secrets of her own past.

Read an interview in Publishers Weekly.


PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL

“[The Last Suppers] is a haunting study of race relations, compassion, and mystery. A must read.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“A serious book, beautifully written, that explores the effect of ruinous family secrets. It’s about race, death and the lives we lead, sometimes against our better judgment… The novel itself is a stew filled with touchstones of our past—like the Ku Klux Klan—that some would rather ignore. The Last Suppers is compelling and very very real.”
—The New York Journal of Books

“In this novel of compassion, readers will find a humanizing light in a normally dark place.”
—Booklist

“The Last Suppers held me riveted from the first page to the last, a gorgeous novel that finds beauty in the most unlikely of places. This story has the social conscience of The Help, the unflinching honesty of The Shawshank Redemption, and a wholly original heroine whose humanity will touch your heart as she cooks her way to redemption.”
—Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Filled with heart and reverent solemnity, despair and hope, Mandy Mikulencak’s writing is a sensitive, thoughtful narrative about finding freedom beyond the boundaries of what we believe of ourselves and of our past.  With captivating characters, a unique premise, and set in sultry Louisiana, this story is as rich and enticing as the last suppers prepared, one you will want to linger over until the very last page.”
—Donna Everhart, USA Today bestselling author of The Education of Dixie Dupree 

 

Mandy Mikulencak has been a writer her entire life, first as a journalist, and then as a writer/editor for two national nonprofits and a United Nations agency. She started writing fiction just nine years ago when she said characters wouldn’t leave her alone. In fact, she says all of her writing is character-driven. “At times, I feel like I’m taking dictation,” she jokes.

 

Mandy doesn’t shy away from writing about real life. Her first book, Burn Girl, as well as the current book, The Last Suppers, feature difficult topics but she believes that they demonstrate the duality in the human experience: that joy and redemption can exist alongside pain and tragedy.

 

Library Journal gave the book a starred review, saying: “[The Last Suppers] is a haunting study of race relations, compassion, and mystery. A must read.”  The New York Journal of Books calls it “A serious book, beautifully written, that explores the effect of ruinous family secrets. It’s about race, death and the lives we lead, sometimes against our better judgment…The Last Suppers is compelling and very very real.”

 

When she’s not writing, Mandy is often baking — one of her life-long passions instilled in her by her Czech grandmothers. In The Last Suppers, food is almost a central character. That’s why  the book includes an appendix of recipes that are featured throughout the novel. (She’s tried three of them herself but her goal is to make all of them. She hopes that readers and bookclubs will also try making some of the recipes.)

 

 

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