Cover image for Welcome to Higby
Welcome to Higby
Dunn, Mark, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : MacAdam/Cage, [2002]

Physical Description:
339 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From the hilarious author of Ella Minnow Pea comes a comical tour de force--a Southern tale about simple dreams--that captures the soul of small-town America with a big slice of apple pie.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

As small southern towns go, Higby, Mississippi, is a hoot! Home to the Mammoth Mart, Far East House of Massage, and the We-Fix-It Auto Repair shop, Higby is a hilarious haven, a hotbed of hijinks with a high per-capita rate of wacky weirdness. From mousy Carmen Valentine, whose guardian angel, Arnetta, gives her penny-pinching shopping tips, to addled old Hank Grammar, who preaches Jesus to his neighbors' pets, Higby's townsfolk have a knack for getting into, and trouble getting out of, outrageous situations. Whether it's Clint Cullen, the minister's son with a predilection for falling off of Higby's water tower, or Talitha Leigh, who gets kidnapped by a militant cult of religious vegetarians, the attempts of Higby's residents to walk the straight-and-narrow somehow manage to take a more circuitous route. Blessed with an unerring eye for dead-on details, Dunn follows his nationally acclaimed debut novel, Ella Minnow Pea (2001), with another sparkling Southern send-up, treating the reader to a comical tour of some of the region's more entertaining eccentricities. --Carol Haggas

Publisher's Weekly Review

Writing in the spirit of his clever debut novel, Ella Minnow Pea, in which an island's language-loving inhabitants must adapt to a shrinking alphabet, Dunn delivers another witty and intricate book. This time he uses biblical quotations to guide his narrative, which tracks the residents of Higby, Miss., during Labor Day weekend of 1993, as they search for happiness, love and salvation. The tightly interwoven story lines feature a veritable swarm of oddballs, including Stewie Kipp, a born-again Christian whose fiancee, Marci Luck, resents his attempts at piety; Talitha Leigh, a floozy who is kidnapped by an extremist vegan cult and renamed "Blithe"; and dim-witted Euless Ludlam, who finds himself on the receiving end of a huge inheritance. The Bible quotes aren't just gimmicky transitional devices, since the novel closely follows themes of redemption and salvation, albeit in a screwball manner: as one character, Carmen Valentine, notes, "My guardian angel likes to help me stretch my shopping dollar." The collision of celestial concepts and quirky mannerisms makes the book both laugh-out-loud funny and sweetly touching. At its core is the belief that "God equals love," though the characters demonstrate this in some rather strange ways. Dunn, a playwright, has a wonderful ear for dialogue; his rich and enticing prose, elegant structuring and wonderful attention to the smallest of details make this novel a delight. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Dunn's sophomore effort may have even more popular appeal than Ella Minnow Pea, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers title, a Top Ten Book Sense Pick and the recipient of a Borders Original Voices Award. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved