"World of Pies," by Karen Stolz. Hyperion. 160 pages. $18.95.
A creative-writing teacher in Austin, Stolz utilizes a striking approach to fiction in her first novel: Each chapter chronicling the life and times of small-town Texas girl Roxanne involves some sort of recipe, which is printed faithfully at chapter's end. That approach could quickly become too cute and stale, but Stolz is such a skillful writer that it seems entirely natural that her characters would use food as a sort of emotional lighthouse.