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Short Story Collection Review    

Stories from the Blue Moon Café:
Anthology of Southern Writers
edited by Sonny Brewer
MacAdam/Cage, 2002
$25.00 (385p)
ISBN: 1-931561-09-5


In his introduction to Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe, Sonny Brewer explains, "Every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Fairhope, Alabama (located on the Mobile Bay), hosts an 'annual literary slugfest' known as Southern Writers Reading." Last year, Brewer, a local bookstore owner who helps organize the event, decided the time was right to publish a chapbook of the writers who were in attendance. The project grew into 385 page anthology of southern writers all of whom donated their fees to benefit the Fairhope Center for Writing Arts.

Taking its' name from last November's blue moon around Fairhope and Robert Bell's fictionalized Fairhope in his novel, The Butterfly Tree, this collection includes several essays, a prose poem, and fiction.

The list of contributing authors is impressive and eclectic: Marlin Barton, Rick Bragg, Jill Conner Browne, C. Terry Cline, Jr., Pat Conroy, Tom Corcoran, Beth Ann Fennelly, Patricia Foster, Tom Franklin, William Gay, Jim Gilbert, W.E.B. Griffin, Winston Groom, Melinda Haynes, Frank Turner Hollon, Silas House, Suzanne Hudson, Douglas Kelly, Tom Kelly, Michael Knight, Bev Marshall, Barbara Robinette Moss, Jennifer Paddock, Judith Richards, Richard Shackleford, Goerge Singleton, Monroe Thompson, Sidney Thompson, Brad Watson, and Steve Yarbrough.

Most of the work included in the anthology has appeared elsewhere. For example, Rick Bragg's essay on the blues was first published in the New York Times and Pat Conroy's submission is from his forthcoming memoir.

Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe is bound by the writers' love for storytelling, particularly Southern storytelling. The anthology mixes best-selling authors with regional favorites creating an array of themes, points of view, and tones.

Sonny Brewer owns the Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama. He was the editor of the city magazine in Mobile, Alabama, associate editor of an Alabama weekly newspaper, and a feature columnist. Brewer is the editor and author of Red Bluff Review, Rembrandt the Rocker, and A Yin for Change, and like "every other adult in America, is gonna write a novel some day."


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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