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The TBS Book Club will be meeting on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, 10:30 am at the Firestone's home at 48 Rockledge Path, Port Jefferson NY 11777

Phone: (631)724-0424 (631)474-1344  Cell: (631)384-8986


This month's selection is"The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street" by Susan Jane Gilman


The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

by Susan Jane Gilman

A clever and complex woman builds an ice cream empire after immigrating from Russia in this stunning novel of power, Prohibition, and performance set against the backdrop of early 20th-century America.
In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.


Susan Jane Gilman

Known for her unique combination of humor and depth, Susan Jane Gilman is the New York Times bestselling author of five books – the nonfiction “Kiss My Tiara,” the memoirs “Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress,” and “Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven,” plus the novels “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street” and her latest, “Donna Has Left the Building.”

Gilman has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, Salon, The Guardian, Real Simple, and Ms. magazine, among others. She been a commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered," and she has given a TEDx talk on the creative process, “There Is No Lightning Bolt.” Her books have been published in a dozen languages.

She won literary awards for her journalism and short fiction. She was also the recipient of a "Golden Earphones" Award for her Audiobook recording of "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street."

She once told an interviewer: "I never set out to write books that made people laugh. My main love has always been literary fiction. However, even with my darkest work, people always tell me that parts of it are funny. This used to annoy me because I aspired to be an American Dostoevsky with Breasts.

Although she currently resides primarily in Switzerland, her heart and her feet are never far from her hometown of New York City.

Wed, September 28 2022 3 Tishrei 5783