Make My Tomatoes Fried and Green

Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg is Chattanooga’s choice for "A Tale for One City," and everyone is invited to read the book, and then to meet in groups throughout the community to talk about it. The program is a way of promoting literacy and encouraging a closer community by finding common ground.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a co-sponsor of this reading program. offered this description of the book, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and remained on The New York Times best-seller list for 36 weeks:

"Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women—of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder."

A Tale For One City is similar to a program called "If All Seattle Read The Same Book," initiated in 1998 by Nancy Pearl, a Seattle librarian. The success of that program propelled the reading initiative across the country, and now there have been at least 73 similar programs in 33 states and two in Canada. These programs selected a book on the advice of a community panel or similar means, but Chattanooga’s selection process was different. Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistle Stop Cafe was chosen by popular vote.

Dr. John Friedl, UTC Provost, suggests reading and organizing discussion groups in the community. Many churches across Chattanooga have invited their congregations to read and discuss the book.

So pick up your copy and read Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistle Stop Cafe. Then share it with someone else.

For contest opportunities and other Tale for One City information, click here.