The Speed Queen by Stewart. O'Nan

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Marjorie Standiford sits on Oklahoma's death row, hours away from execution, speaking into a tape recorder, telling her life story. She's answering questions about how she became the Speed Queen, one of the Sonic Killers - how mainlining speed with her husband, Lamont, and her lover, Natalie, grew into dealing, how dealing grew into robbery, and robbery into mass murder. She's telling her story because she wants to set the record straight, to correct the lies in Natalie's book, which became a bestseller.

About Stewart. O'Nan

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Stewart O'Nan was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1961. He received a B. S. from Boston University in 1983 and received a M. F. A. in fiction from Cornell University in 1992. Before becoming a writer, he worked as a test engineer for Grumman Aerospace from 1984 to 1988. He has written several novels including The Speed Queen, A Prayer for the Dying, Last Night at the Lobster, The Circus Fire, and Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season. In the Walled City won the 1993 Due Heinz Literature Prize; Snow Angels won the 1993 Pirates Alley William Faulkner Prize; and The Names of the Dead won the 1996 Oklahoma Book Award. Snow Angels was made into a feature film in 2007. In 1996, he was listed as one of Granta's best young American novelists.
Published January 1, 1997 by New York, Doubleday, 1997.
Genres: . Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Just make me the way I am.'' So Marjorie proceeds to tell Stephen the whole sad story, from white-trash childhood to pothead adolescence to marriage with speed-freak Lamont on to her eventual discovery of bisexuality with roommate Natalie.

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The New York Times

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“The Speed Queen,” a one-woman show at the New Jersey Repertory Company, based on the novel by Stewart O’Nan, tells the gory tale of an Oklahoma killing spree.

Nov 03 2006 | Read Full Review of The Speed Queen

Publishers Weekly

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When the two are paroled and move in with Lamont, the book shifts into fifth gear: Marjorie finds out that Natalie is bedding Lamont, just as a $9000 drug buy turns ugly and Lamont is tortured by dealers.

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Entertainment Weekly

(The book was originally titled Dear Stephen King, but King's lawyers nixed that.) But even O'Nan's catchy confessional structure can't make new the predictable material — the drug deal gone sour, the massacre in a fast-food restaurant, the getaway on Route 66 — for which one can almost hear...

Apr 25 1997 | Read Full Review of The Speed Queen

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