Brodeur, Adrienne 1967(?)–
Brodeur, Adrienne 1967(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1967.
CAREER: Editor and novelist. Paris Review, reader; Zoetrope: All-Story, San Francisco, CA, founding coeditor, then editor-in-chief, 1997–2002.
AWARDS, HONORS: National Magazine Award for best fiction, 2001.
Man Camp (novel), Random House (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel to be titled Motherload.
SIDELIGHTS: Adrienne Brodeur is the cofounder, with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, of the award-winning literary journal Zoetrope: All-Story. In addi-tion to its oversize, tabloid format and use of newsprint, the journal is distinguished by its connection to Coppola's American Zoetrope studios, which purchases the film rights for the stories and plays published in the magazine. Reviewing the early editions for Library Journal, Eric Bryant found it "an impressive work that will be welcome wherever short fiction is popular." The journal features both established names and new voices, as well as a wide array of styles and themes. There is also an overarching idea. As Brodeur told an interviewer in Reveries, "I think the things that separate out Zoetrope are that we have stories that have great voices, that have real narrative arc. They're what I would call a classic story—you really go somewhere in a Zoetrope story. We don't have sort of small, experimental, little slice of life, thoughts-on-the-potato type of stories." At the same time, there are more meditative nonfiction pieces, such as Salman Rushdie's essay on the transition of his novel Midnight's Children into a movie. A number of critics were pleased with the results. Reviewing the first collection, Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope: All-Story, Library Journal contributor Shana C. Fair found it "perfect for summer reading." Similarly, Publishers Weekly reviewer Jeff Zalesky asserted, "Almost every entry's a winner. (How often can you say that?)."
After leaving the magazine in 2002, Brodeur decided to write her own fiction full time. The result was her debut novel, Man Camp. Set in her native New York, Brodeur's novel centers on a biologist named Lucy and on Martha, an actress. In her own way, each character deals with the hazards of modern love. While Lucy is somewhat disenchanted by her attentive but insecure boyfriend, Martha is tired of meeting men who seem to lack a certain masculine spark. The two decide to set up a seminar to train men in the old-fashioned art of manliness, but they soon discover that their one-day session is not enough, so they turn to an old friend of Lucy's, a West Virginia dairy farmer named Cooper. The three agree to set up Man Camp as a way to train Manhattanites in the finer points of carpentry, horsemanship, and chivalry. Before long, however, the trio find themselves dealing with unexpected difficulties as Martha seems increasingly drawn to Cooper and Lucy surprises herself by feeling pangs of jealousy. At the same time, Martha is not entirely enjoying herself, explained a critic in Kirkus Reviews, "because Cooper's mother is a steel magnolia doing her damnedest to thwart Martha's romance with her son." A Publishers Weekly contributor described the results of Brodeur's first attempt at fiction as a "cleanly written, brainy chick-lit tale" in which "the women learn they can't necessarily apply sociobiology to human romance."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cosmopolitan, July, 2005, Sara Bodnar, review of Man Camp, p. 490.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Man Camp, p. 490.
Library Journal, November 15, 1998, Eric Bryant, review of Zoetrope: All-Story (magazine), p. 98; May 1, 2000, Shana C. Fair, review of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope All-Story, p. 111.
Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003, Jeff Zalesky, review of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope All-Story 2, p. 52; May 9, 2005, review of Man Camp, p. 37.
Reveries, February, 2002, interview with Adrienne Brodeur.
USA Today, May 26, 2005, Bob Minzesheimer, review of Man Camp, p. D6.
Washington Post Book World, May 21, 2000, Jennifer Howard, review of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope All-Story, p. 10.
Man Camp Web site, http://www.gotomancamp.com/ (June 27, 2005), brief biography of Adrienne Brodeur.