Ginger Henry Kuenzel
Ginger Henry Kuenzel has a bio as interesting as the characters of her fictional town, Downtown.
A journalist, a columnist, a writer, a translator and a keen observer of everyday life around her. Kuenzel spent a good many years as a writer-columnist in Germany writing for a magazine read by Germans wanting to learn English. Her concise, succinct writing style was likely an excellent vehicle for learning the language, though the its nuances and subtleties may have lost some oomph in the tranference.
Downtown is her first major book and it sets a high bar for her future publications. It is a descriptive narrative of life in America, more accurately, living in America. She channels the comedic style of Erma Bombeck while capturing the spirit of Gerrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion/Lake Wobegon fame.
Kuenzel paints the pastels of small town America with true colours capturing the essence of its ideal. If paint can come in colours of comedy, then Kuenzel uses gallons of the verbal hue.
The name of the town is based on its abundance of geese. The flock launch puns and plays on verbal phrases from “Down”town to Fifty Shades of Grey Goose vodka.
The characters, events and incidents described in the book are based on real ones though Kuenzel pays them the necessary confidentiality. Yet, she says enough that every reader who lives in the USA and Canada can easily relate to everything she writes.
We all know about small towns, cottage country towns where summers are as she says, very busy and bustling times but their sidewalks are ‘rolled’ up once the summer season comes to a close. Canadian readers can relate to Wasaga Beach and Muskoka towns; Americans to Wisconsin and Minnesota, June through September.
Downtown is a fun read, short in number of pages but long in humour and entertainment. It is as essential for summertime beach accompaniment as a cold beer or for fall-weather-porch-rocking-chair-partnership with a refreshing cocktail.
Kuenzel will have you laughing out loud, saying, “Yeah, that’s so true, so small townish, for sure.” Though its a short read, it’s a very entertaining and engaging one. Her style is quick, succinct and to the point, usually with a humorous and true barb about life in a small town. Many readers will easily identify with her characters, their apparel and the towns they live in.
We all know “Downtowns,” and many of us have visited them. Some of us have even lived in them. But no one has captured their essence as humourously or engagingly as Ginger Henry Kuenzel has in Downtown.