Mimi Pond is a treasure, one we ignore at our own risk… Her latest book — a thick, semi-autobiographical bildungsroman called The Customer Is Always Wrong — might be her greatest work to date. It’s a lengthy and detailed portrait of a young woman working at a restaurant in late-’70s Oakland and the cast of characters around her — some of them shady, some of them lovable, and all of them compelling. Pond’s hand is confident and her figure work hops balletically across the page; her facial acting is simple, but searing. It’s a long journey from page one to the end, but you’ll be glad you stopped by for a cup of coffee or two with the folks Pond conjured up.

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