Synopses & Reviews
Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena
collects a bevy of wise, witty, often hilarious essays by the inimitably charming, staunchly Southern Julia Reed.
In classic Dixie storytelling fashion, Reed wends her way through the Southfrom politics, religion, and women to weather, pestilence, guns, and what she calls "drinking and other Southern pursuits" with a rare blend of literary elegance and plainspoken humor.
To hear Reed tell it, the South is another country. She builds an entertaining and persuasive case, using as examples everything from its unfathomable codes of conduct to its disciplined fashion sense. When a bemused Reed once commented on the cross-dressing get-ups of an upstanding community member, her austere grandfather said, "He's been wearing them lately. Now come on." A friend of her aunt's merely said, "I wonder where he gets his shoes. I can't ever find good-looking shoes in Nashville."
Southern food, of course, is an entire world apart: gumbo, grits, greens, okra, chess pie, Lady Baltimore cake, and Frito chili pie make memorable appearances in Reed's stories, which will amuse, delight, and even explain a thing or two to baffed Yankees everywhere.
"Reed, bless her heart, has written a laugh-aloud collection of personal essays about the South....Satirical, spirited writing for fans of the Sweet Potato Queens who appreciate recipes for fried chicken and frozen tomatoes." Library Journal
"In this engaging collection of essays, Mississippi native Reed...presents a fresh and eclectic portrait of the South." Publishers Weekly
"[Reed] skewers [the Souuth's] salacious stereotypes in a playful collection of essays that humorously and humbly celebrates the quirkiness that lies deep in the heart of Dixie." Booklist
"Julia Reed is right on target about the South its food, its hair, its guns, its pests, even the tendency of southern women to kill their husbands and get away with it. She's clear-eyed, raucously funny, and a natural story teller, which makes her something of a southern phenomenon herself." John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"Julia Reed's affectionate and hilarious observations of the Deep South and Southerners past and present are a delight to read." Fannie Flagg, author of Standing in the Rainbow
In classic Dixie storytelling fashion, Reed wends her way through the South in this collection of wise and witty essays.