Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl

Don't Kill the Birthday Girl

When butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other joys of childhood are out of the question–and so Sandra’s mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with “Don’t kill the birthday girl!” Tackling a long-marginalized subject, this book intertwines a cultural history and sociological study of food allergies with humorous and sometimes heartbreaking real-life experience. From a short-lived gig as a restaurant reviewer to the dates that ended with trips to the emergency room, step inside the story of a modern young woman coming to terms with a potentially deadly disorder.

Paperback - $14.00 - ISBN: 978-0-307-58812-8
(Broadway; pub. date April 3, 2012)
Hardcover and eBook - $23.00 - ISBN #978-0-307-58811-1 (Crown, pub. date July 12, 2011)

Available NOW from Barnes & Noble (and NOOK), (and Amazon Kindle), iTunes/iBook, IndieBound, Powell’s, Tattered Cover, Tower Books, Politics & Prose, Teaching for Change, Square Books, and many other retailers nationwide.

Interested in having Sandra speak with your reading group?
Check out this handy Reading Group Guide [18 questions, formatted in PDF for easy printing],
and email for more information.

-Recognized as a top summer read by SELF, HEALTH, PREVENTION, and PEOPLE-

-A top-5 FINALIST for the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards in “Food & Cooking”-

“Winning, wise and humorous, you’ll think twice when someone says, ‘Pass the peanuts.’”
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Don’t Sing at the Table

“Brilliantly combining her personal narrative with medical research and cultural analyses, Beasley’s memoir is ultimately an exploration of how we negotiate our vulnerable, permeable selves in a world that is filled equally with joy and harm.”
—Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows

“In sparkling prose, Beasley has written a memoir that becomes a remarkable mélange—undeniably informative, and a real pleasure—both hip and wickedly smart.”
—Alex Lemon, author of Happy: A Memoir and Fancy Beasts

“Sandra Beasley’s book is both hilarious and moving. It’s about what it’s like to live in fear of hidden parmesan, but it’s also about teenage rebellion, romance and George Washington Carver. Recommended for everyone, no matter what their immune system is like.”
—A.J. Jacobs, author of My Life as an Experiment and The Year of Living Biblically

Media Coverage and Editorials:

“When Even One Drink Could Kill You,” Washington Post Outlook (February 2015)
“The Chef Within,” Living Without’s Gluten-Free & More (January 2015)
“Here Comes the Bride,” Living Without’s Gluten-Free & More (August 2014)
“Living With Anaphylaxis,” by Diane Wedner for (June 2014)
“Seasoned with Love,” Living Without (December/January 2014)
“Back to School,” Living Without (August/September 2013)
“A Good Year,” Living Without (June/July 2013)
“Food allergies can be a Valentine’s Day minefield,”The Gainesville Sun (Feb. 14, 2013)
“Trick or Treat,” Living Without (October/November 2012)
“The Iris,” Living Without (June/July 2012)
Online chat on “Summer Challenges: Managing Food Allergy,” The Motherhood (June 2012)
“Politics of Food” panel, C-Span’s Book TV (April 2012) [scroll down for video]
Q&A with the National Peanut Board I & II, “Energy for the Good Life” blog
“Words of Wellness: Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl,”
“The Vagabond Cook: Lemon Chicken with Olives,”
“Sandra Beasley’s Secrets to Dating an Allergy Girl,” Books for Better Living (April 2012)
“Are You Or Someone You Love Suffering From Allergies So Bad That Dining Out Becomes a Stressful Event?,” (April 2012)
“Focus: Interviews on global affairs and daily life” with David Inge for WILL 90.9 FM in Urbana (March 2012) (podcast available)
“Vegan, gluten-free? Tips for safe and tasty trips,” published on (February 2012)
“Confessions of an Allergic Mind,” for Psychology Today’s “The Fallible Mind” (January 2012)
“The Vagabond Diet,” for Writing Up an Appetite (December 2011)
“Save the Party from Hives” and podcast radio interview, for Wriggling in the Middle with Dr. Merle Griff and DeLores Pressley (November 2011)
“Navigating Food Allergies: Safe Halloween Treats and a Live Talk with Author Sandra Beasley,” for The Motherhood (October 2011)
“Guest Blog: Sandra Beasley,” for Lofty Ambitions (October 2011)
“Wordy Birds: Sandra Beasley” for WRIR in Richmond (podcast available)
“Five Questions with Sandra Beasley,” for E. Ethelbert Miller’s E-Notes (September 2011)
“In Search of SSU (Sinus Sister University),” (September 2011)
“Top 10 Not-To-Be-Missed Adult Books for Your Back-to-School Shelves” selection by School Library Journal in August 2011
“Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: And other tips from a food-allergic adult on how to host a safe party for kids,” as profiled on The RetailMeNot Insider
“Faith Middleton Show: Stratford’s Garbage Museum; Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl; In Defense of Flogging” for WNPR in Connecticut (podcast available)
“The Diane Rehm Show: Sandra Beasley” for NPR/WAMU (transcript or audio available)
“Book Talk: Sandra Beasley,” with Stephen Usery for WYPL in Memphis (podcast available)
“Q&A: Sandra Beasley says allergies can bring out insensitivity in others” in Canada’s The Globe & Mail on July 20, 2011
Featured in Shelf-Awareness for Readers on July 15, 2011
“Stuck in a Food Fight for Life” in the Washington Post EXPRESS on July 19, 2011
“Love Me, Love My Allergies” published by eHarmony under advice on “Dating Issues”
“Peanut Power” on the Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life blog of the National Peanut Board
“On Our Bookshelf: Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl” from the Food Allergy Alliance (book excerpt)
“Author Q&A: Fear of Food” in PARADE’s “Summer Reading!” edition on July 10, 2011
“An ‘Allergy Girl’ Comes Out of Her Bubble” in the Wall Street Journal on July 9, 2011
“Minefield Loving,” a “Two-Minute Memoir” in the August Psychology Today [PDF version]
“Don’t Kill the Birthday Guest,”
Eatocracy: a Sandra-friendly “Chocolate Love Cake” recipe
“Sandra Beasley and Food Allergy Awareness Week,”
“Ten Things a Parent Can Do to Host an Allergy-Friendly Kids’ Party” [downloadable PDF]
“Ten Things a Parent Can Do to Host an Allergy-Friendly Party” [downloadable PDF]
“Food Fight,” a related “XX File” in the Washington Post Magazine on March 15, 2009

Check out Sandra reading from DKTBG in July 2011 at Square Books in Oxford, MS:

Check out the official book trailer:

Review Excerpts: