Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Title Page

Fiction

August 30, 1987|Brett Singer

JESUS AND FAT TUESDAY AND OTHER SHORT STORIES by Colleen J. McElroy; (Creative Arts: $8.95, paperback; 208 pp.). "If someone had taken a photo of Buel, DeJohn, Roger, and Calvin back in 1964, they could have spotted the contentment on those four faces. In those days, everything they set out to do seemed easy, especially when they stayed within the boundaries of the world they knew, places they could reach on one tank of gas. They couldn't imagine, did not bother to imagine, anything pushing them farther than that point. That would come later. For now, it was enough to wait for Sunday afternoon, when Buel or one of the others would say, 'Let's show Nab some tail feathers and floorboard these hogs.' "

In "Sister Detroit," perhaps the best of the 14 stories gathered in Colleen J. McElroy's accomplished collection, four young men, close friends since childhood, are shown to love their automobiles--more even than their young wives. History comes calling for them in the shape of the Vietnam War, and the cars are left to gather rust as they learn to die for their country.

McElroy's people are all black farmers, church ladies, honky-tonk piano men, politicos, orderlies, prostitutes, nurses. Together these portraits comprise a kind of black Winesburg, Ohio, a highly original chronicle of the last 100 years of American life.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|