Miss Kansas City is the story of an improbable friendship, set in the tumultuous mid-80s dotcom California, where youthful greed and blinkered innocence arrive intertwined.
Friendless and reclusive, Alex Blue commutes two hours each way to a job that serves mainly as a place to bide time, until one day she meets the wealthy, worldly - and married - owner of a high-concept Bay Area lifestyle company. Meanwhile, the melancholy and closeted Morton Levi, yearning for a loving partner but stung by prior experience, lives a secret life outside the software information company he manages with a steady, efficient hand - the same company where Alex works.
As ominous rumors of mergers and layoffs swirl, and Alex and Mort are pushed to the emotional brink by the vagaries of love, they find themselves forging an unexpected alliance. Miss Kansas City is a moving exploration of the notion of possibility, and of a seasoned hope that can emerge on the other side of loneliness and loss.
Joan Frank is the author of the story collection Boys Keep Being Born, which was both a Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award and Paterson Fiction Award finalist. Her stories appear in many journals and anthologies, including The Antioch Review,The Iowa Review, and Salmagundi. She is a MacDowell Colony and VCCA Fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, recipient of a Barbara Deming Grant, and winner of the Iowa Fiction Award and Emrys Fiction Award. She lives in Northern California. Miss Kansas City is her first novel.
August 2006 : USA Hardback
August 2009 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition