Item description for Stories From the Blue Moon Cafe by Sonny Brewer...
Overview Presents a collection of short stories from such authors as Pat Conroy, W.E.B. Griffin, Suzanne Hudson, and Tom Kelly.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.75" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2002
ISBN 1931561095 ISBN13 9781931561099
Availability 0 units.
More About Sonny Brewer
SONNY BREWERowns Over the Transom Bookshop in Fairhope and is board chairman of the nonprofit Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts. He is the former editor in chief of Mobile Bay Monthly; he also published and edited Eastern Shore Quarterly magazine, edited Red Bluff Review, and was founding associate editor of the weekly West Alabama Gazette. Brewer is the editor of the acclaimed annual three-volume anthology of Southern writing, Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe.
Reviews - What do customers think about Stories From the Blue Moon Cafe?
Rather Underwhelming Jul 8, 2008
Although I appreciated the variety of styles represented, most of the authors did not bring their A games to this collection, considering their credentials. Many of the stories were predictable, albeit well written.
WHAT A GREAT MENU...! Nov 19, 2002
This collection is a real treat - not only did I get to check out some work by some of my favorites (both old and new), but it allowed me to discover the work of some writers I had never experienced. Every piece is of high quality - most are short stories, but there are a couple of essays and a poem here as well. I won't take the time (or space) here to comment on each and every entry, but I'd like to mention a few...
Marlin Barton's story, `Final spring', cemented my admiration for him. I had previously read (and reviewed here) his collection THE DRY WELL - and now I can look forward to his new novel BROKEN THING, coming out in the new year. C. Terry Cline's `S Trident' had me laughing out loud - and shuddering a little, knowing that the string of misunderstandings depicted within could actually occur. Patricia Foster's `The girl from Soldier Creek' is a well-written, moving account of a young woman going back to the home she fled in a time of crisis. While I found his collection POACHERS entertaining, I must say that I enjoyed Tom Franklin's `Christmas 1893' much more - I look forward to reading more from him. William Gay's two novels - THE LONG HOME and PROVINCES OF NIGHT have simply astonished me in their power. His short story here, `Come home, come home, it's suppertime' didn't disappoint me at all - what amazing writing! Winston Groom's `Just a little closer to the Lord' illustrates poignantly how people can react negatively to someone who's just a bit different from them. Silas House's `The last days' chronicles a mother's decision to return her child to his father, from whom she abducted him several years before. Michael Knight's `Killing Stonewall Jackson' is a chilling, partially surreal look at the horror endured by those who took part in the American Civil War. Also very powerful are Barbara Robinette Moss' `Blackbird' and Brad Watson's `The dead girl', an excerpt from his novel THE HEAVEN OF MERCURY.
This collection has given me a lot of additions to my `to read list' - and it also kept me well entertained for the several days it took me to work my way through it. I would heartily recommend it to anyone - it's a great way to sample to work of all of these talented writers.
Taste the Flavor of the South at the Blue Moon Cafe Nov 17, 2002
Ah, the South--a strange blend of tradition and modernity, where portraits of Elvis and Jesus vie for prominence on living-room walls. The South--a volatile caldron of atavistic prejudices and avant-garde visions, where religion and sex fitfully embrace in a frenetic danse macabre. How does one capture the distinctive milieu of Southern mores and culture? By what artistic legerdemain can wordsmiths translate the complex movements of Southern life onto the pages of a book? In Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe, thirty Southern writers each contribute a short story (one of the chapters is a poem) in an attempt to capture the Southern essence. In "Final Spring," Marlin Barton of Montgomery, Alabama, writes of the lost cause, the collapse of the Confederate army during the Civil War. And in "Killing Stonewall Jackson," Michael Knight of Knoxville, Tennessee, writes of the death of Robert E. Lee's greatest lieutenant. In "The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born," Rick Bragg describes the forlorn music of the deltas of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers: "When you sing the blues, here in one of the poorest, most unchanging corners of the country, you hand everybody who listes a piece of your pain, fear, and hopelessness, until there is such a tiny piece left, you can live with it." In "Bitsy," Jill Conner Browne of Jackson, Mississippi, tells of meeting the world's largest transvestite in a ladies' room in a New Orleans restaurant. In "S. Trident," C. Terry Cline, Jr. of Fairhope, Alabama, describes his inadvertent purchase of a nuclear submarine base and of the resulting hilarious exchange of letters between himself and officials in Washington and Moscow. In "Just a Little Closer to the Lord," Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump and Shrouds of Glory, tells the story of a black man named Walking Hand, whom the people of Widgeville, on the Carolina coast, mistake for the devil incarnate. In "Love Like a Bullet," Melinda Haynes of Mobile, Alabama, interweaves the story of a present-day dysfunction family with Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and the biblical story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. In the book's most hilarious story, "The Fall of the Nixon Administration," Suzanne Hudson writes of a bona fide chicken massacre. (The chickens had been given the names of the principals involved in the Watergate scandal.) In "A Modern Tragedy," Douglas Kelley of Fort Smith, Arkansas, describes a veteran actor who has played the role of Brutus, in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," so often that he actually "becomes" Brutus. Tom Kelly's short story, "Payback," about a turkey hunter in Florida, contains this striking passage: "There truly are temptations so strong that no man can resist them. There really are boxes that positively shriek to have the lid removed, no matter how much the box trembles, no matter how much colored smoke is leaking through the cracks around the hinges and regardless of how many troubles may be liable to escape when the lid comes off. I have been tempted and I have succumbed. We will press on from here." In "White Sugar and Red Clay," Bev Marshall of McComb, Mississippi, writes a pognant tale of racial prejudice in the Deep South. In "Vietnam," George Singleton describes Dr. Wanda McGaha, who "had received her undergraduate degree from Berea College, where she double-majored in philosophy in Appalachian heritage. She may have been the only college president in America who could weave a basket, carve out a bread bowl, operate a still, and quote Schopenhauer." In "Arnold's Number," Sidney Thompson of Fairhope, Alabama, writes of a poor soul who spends his time meeting and talking with strangers in bus depots. In a shocking Gothic tale, "The Dead Girl," Brad Watson writes of bizarre eroticism in a mortuary. The story is taken from his novel, The Heaven of Mercury (Norton, 2002). Many of these stories present stereotypical caricatures of Southern life. One should bear in mind, however, that stereotypes and caricatures, whose exaggerations perpetuate falsehoods, often contain strong elements of truth. Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe is a delightful anthology. One would hope that this is the first in an annual series. Sonny Brewer owns Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama. He was editor of the city magazine in Mobile, Alabama, associate editor of an Alabama weekly newspaper, and a feature columnist. He edited an anthology of Fairhope writers and artists called Red Bluff Review, and is the author of a parable on aging cleverly disguised as a children's book, Rembrandt the Rocker, and a book of dime store philosophy called A Yin for Change. Roy E. Perry of Nolensville is an amateur philosopher, Civil War buff, classical music lover, and aficionado of fine literature. By trade he is a copywriter at a Nashville publishing house.
ABOUT FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA: With its location high on the bluffs of the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, Fairhope has long been known for its lovely parks, rich with moss-draped live oaks, its sweeping panoramic views of Mobile Bay, and its charming and vital downtown where visitors and locals alike find reasons to shop, stroll, and dine. Whether you come for a day or for a lifetime, you'll be welcomed to beautiful Fairhope.
if i could give this TEN stars, i would Oct 5, 2002
i picked up this book of short stories because it has some pieces by authors i have loved in the past--conroy, rick bragg, web griffin--but i came away with a whole new list of writers i know i need to read. i am a northerner and have always relied on the esteemed anthology new stories from the south to guide me along the path of the southern writing tradition, but now i have added the blue moon cafe to my list of destinations to visit again and again. this is a collection of writers to watch out for. do yourself a favor and order this book NOW.
worst anthology I ever read and does not even deserve 1 star Sep 26, 2002
What a dismal book, redeemed only by the reliably excellent George Singleton. Don't expect any Flannery O'Connors or Walker Percys in this anthology. Almost every Southern character in this book lives in a trailer, is a violent drunk or married to one, or kills someone. So if you think Southerners are a bunch of white trash drunken murderers, then by all means read this book. Most of the stories rely on simple shock value to get their point across. It's a easy task to shock a reader, and any writer can do this. That isn't good fiction. Most offensive was "Left Behind," a 1 1/2 page story about a man whose wife leaves him, so he kills her cat. This is described quite graphically and since the story is only a handful of paragraphs, it was obviously written for the express purpose of describing this cruel and vicious act. It's pretty clear the writer got as much of a kick out of writing this as his character did from killing the poor creature. That's a sick way to get your jollies. This is not the only story to rely on shock value. Many of the stories describe murder and violence. In "Christmas 1893", a wife who suffers chronic violent abuse from her drunken husband regrets that he was killed because she'll miss that feeling between her legs. As if the sex makes up for the fact that he beats her and her son. This is totally unrealistic, even for 1893. Even the highly esteemed Rick Bragg is full of cliches in his tiresome "The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born". If there's one thing the world doesn't need, it's another endless litany of sentences that begin "The blues is...". I could go on and cite many more examples of the unimaginative writing in this book, much of it from otherwise excellent writers. I will conclude by saying that I hated this book so much I did not donate it to the thrift shop, as I usually do with unwanted books. I threw it in the garbage--a drastic step for a bibliophile.