Cover image for Stories from the Blue Moon Café II
Stories from the Blue Moon Café II
Brewer, Sonny.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, CA : MacAdam/Cage, [2003]

Physical Description:
361 pages ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS551 .S743 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Like the parlor chorus of conversation at a Southern family reunion, the voices in the Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe II anthology are loud, or they are soft. They are crazy, but not asked to be quiet: "Go ahead, Uncle Ralph, where was it they landed?" And no one laughs. Or they do, and somebody pulls a gun and everything goes quiet again. But not for long. Bookended by stories from Larry Brown and William Gay--two masters of storytelling from a tradition that's rooted south of the Mason-Dixon--this collection runs the scale from humor to pathos and back again, picking up a poem here and there, an essay or two, and a concert of stories. Fannie Flagg and Jill Conner Browne and W. E. B. Griffin lend their bestseller styles, and eighteen-year-old Eric Kingrea proves we're growing new authors down South who only used to be unheard of. In voices that are rich and distinct, the skills of these writers blend to lift up a harmony that's foursquare and solid. Readers embraced the first volume of Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe and it was praised by reviewers across the country. This second volume hits its own sonorous note, strong like the distant rumble of thunder that promises cooling rain and sweet relief. Good reading that tunes up your mind and echoes in your heart. Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe II, with more authors, and two poets, mind you, is a few thousand words fatter than the first. A man I know in corporate finance says you cannot grow the bottom line by two percent annually, impossible--that even if you're trending upward, it's got to be a spiky line. Well, any slight dip in the quality of this anthology of Southern writing will have to wait for another year. The best areincluded, both well-known names, and names you may not yet know, at the top of their game of writing: mystery, humor, essay, rhyme, story, and vignette. A lot of book lovers across the country newly discovered the pleasure of South

Author Notes

Sonny Brewer owns Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

What makes a writer a southern writer? Is it a matter of geography or sensibility? Next to the question of what qualifies a novel as literary, that may be the most popular rhetorical game in American letters. This anthology, with its unwieldy mix of tones, themes, and settings--some of the stories don't even take place in the American South--won't do much to settle the question. But it does offer readers the pure pleasure of short stories written by the South's best contemporary writers. The collection mixes work by such well-known authors as Fannie Flagg and W.E.B. Griffin, with stories from emerging writers, including 18-year-old Eric Kingrea. Flagg contributes a slight, comic tale, Rome, Italy, which reads as if it flitted onto the page while she was lolling on the porch drinking lemonade. On a more ambitious note, Larry Brown leads off the collection with the sumptuously southern gothic tale A Roadside Resurrection. Not every story is equally good, but readers should find their visit to the Blue Moon Cafe more than satisfying. --Karen Holt Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Eclectic, unpretentious and enjoyable, this collection of short stories, poetry and nonfiction is the second installment in the Blue Room Cafe series, edited by Brewer, owner of an Alabama bookstore and director of the annual literary event Southern Writers Reading. The majority of the book is high quality fiction, much of it by authors little known outside the Deep South. The opening story by Larry Brown, "A Roadside Resurrection," is a gritty tale of a dying man and a healer who is cursed by his gift for healing. In William Gay's "Homecoming," a man drops in on wealthy relatives and finds the rich have more problems than he ever imagined. In Michelle Richmond's "Choose Your Travel Partner Wisely," a woman finds out more than she wants to know about her husband during a tropical holiday. Another husband and wife grow apart in "Orphans," by Donald Hays, in which an Oklahoma dentist finds God and moves to Russia to found an orphanage, his skeptical wife trailing behind. The strong nonfiction entries include "My Heroes Have Always Been Grill Cooks: Rumination on William Price Fox's Southern Fried," by John T. Edge, an insightful piece presented in a style recalling Fox's famous staccato delivery. Among the poems, the most moving is David Fuller's "Linda Wahlthal," in which a man wonders whatever became of his first love. Brewer's anthology must compete for shelf space with other, longer-established series, but the pleasing array of fresh voices and discerning selection of material makes this a welcome alternative. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Sonny BrewerLarry BrownMichelle RichmondFannie FlaggEric KingreaLee Gay WarrenLes StandifordJohn T. EdgeDonald HaysBeth Ann Fennelly and Tom FranklinDavid WrightJoe FormichellaGregory BenfordCharles GhignaCharles GhignaBrad WatsonCassandra KingRon RashSuzanne KingsburyW. E. B. GriffinJack PendarvisMichael MorrisSilas HouseSidney ThompsonJill Conner BrowneSteve YarbroughGeorge SingletonRobert GatewoodBen EricksonDavid FullerFrank Turner HollonSuzanne HudsonJamie KornegayWilliam Gay
Introductionp. 1
A Roadside Resurrectionp. 5
Choose Your Travel Partner Wiselyp. 31
Rome, Italyp. 45
A Waltz in the Snowp. 49
Vials of Lifep. 57
Succubusp. 69
My Heroes Have Always Been Grill Cooksp. 83
Orphansp. 89
The Saint of Broken Objectsp. 103
Dialogue of Men and Boysp. 105
Lomax's Trialsp. 121
A Fairhope Alienp. 133
Baseball Dreamsp. 141
The Bowman's Handp. 143
Last Days of the Dog-Menp. 145
My Life Is a Country Songp. 163
Speckled Troutp. 175
Panamap. 193
A Best Seller's Pursuit of Technologyp. 209
Escape by Zebrap. 217
Just an Old Curp. 223
Gatlinburgp. 233
Ernestp. 247
Body Perfectp. 261
Veneerp. 265
One Man's Indelible Marksp. 281
Down in New Orleansp. 295
Flounderingp. 301
Linda Wahlthalp. 311
The Scrapbookp. 313
The Seamstressp. 319
Dog Daysp. 337
Homecomingp. 347
About the Authorsp. 357