"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." -- Jonathan Swift
Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans--selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life--is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.
"The heartland's answer to Sarah Vowell and David Rakoff, Nancy French tells it like it is--one laugh-out-loud anecdote after another about a red state American's experiences living in the blue states.
"For the first 20 years of her life, all Nancy French knew of the world was Paris--Paris, Tennessee, that is. When the former homecoming queen trades in cow-tipping, big hair, and the Catfish Capital of the World for a new life in the Big Apple, she is in for a real education. With a keen sense of humor, French discusses everything from the South's obsession with church attendance to the blue-state notion that red staters think as slowly as they speak."
Nonny Frett understands the meaning of “between a rock and a hard place." She...has two families: the Fretts, who stole her and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who lost her and won't forget how they were done wrong. (summary)
Mrs. Fiona "Biggie" Wooten Weatherford is well known for landing five-pound catfish, mowing down mailboxes when she drives, and owning half the county. Now she's mobilizing the local ladies against City Hall's new garbage dump, right next to the graveyard of their forefathers -- especially James Royce Wooten, founder of the town and namesake of Biggie's eleven-year-old grandson, J.R. But when the mayor himself drops facedown in his angel food cake, Biggie smells something worse than a garbage dump.
Establishing her own business as a private detective in San Carmelita, California, karate expert and sleuth Savannah Reid is hired by real-estate broker Brian O'Donnell to find his long-lost sister, but the case soon becomes complicated by murder.
The author offers humorous observations on the human condition, particularly in the South, covering such topics as grits, beer, redneck women, television, ATMs, politics, work, funerals, friendship, and men.
"Comic and tragic, unique and outlandish, Crazy in Alabama is the story of two journeys--Lucille's from Industry, Alabama, to Los Angeles, to star on The Beverly Hillbillies and her 12-year-old nephew Peejoe's, who is about to discover two kinds of Southern justice, and what that means about the stories he's heard and the people he knows."
In the small river town of La Luna, Louisiana, Calla Lily Ponder enjoys a blissful childhood at her mother's side, learns the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair," and encounters first love with a boy named Tuck. (summary)
Stories on class and conformity in the South. In Roll Call, a Southern gentleman works hard to maintain gentlemanly appearances, Place is on a poor woman's disillusion with her rich boyfriend, while the title story is on a snobbish widow and her house repairman.
R. J. Decker, star tenant of the local trailer park and neophyte private eye, is fishing for a killer. (T)here’s a body floating in Coon Bog, Florida – and a lot that's rotten in the murky waters of big-stakes, large-mouth bass tournaments. (summary)