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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven is a 2006 novel by Fannie Flagg. Based in the fictional town of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, it is a humorous look at Southern mores and small-town mentality in the context of death and the existence of an afterlife. Elner Shimfissle, the octogenarian protagonist, falls out of a tree while picking figs and is rushed to the hospital unconscious, where she is reported dead. The novel satirizes both the response of her neighbors down below—including the food they send for the funeral and the obituary written for a Southern newspaper—and the view from above, where Elner meets her dead sister, her hero Thomas Alva Edison, and God Himself: her former neighbor, Raymond, a modest, pipe-smoking divinity.
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date of publication: 2006
genre: novel, fiction

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