Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients. (Putnam, 2009) which follows the lives of eight students and their teacher in a cooking class held in a restaurant kitchen. Her new novel, Joy for Beginners (Putnam, June 2011) explores what happens to seven women who challenge one another to do one thing in the next year that is new or difficult or scary. The twist? - they don't get to choose their own challenges. Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, has called Joy for Beginners "moving, touching, wonderfully written; inspiring to read." Erica Bauermeister is also the co-author of two nonfiction books: 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide and Let's Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She lives in Seattle and loves to talk with book groups. You can find her at www.ericabauermeister.com.
When in college Erica diecided that she wanted to write, "I finally knew what I wanted to write – books that took what many considered to be unimportant bits of life and gave them beauty, shone light upon their meaning"