Friday, August 11, 2006

Rita Mae Brown

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”You are your work. Don't trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothing more than dollars. That's a rotten bargain.”

- Rita Mae Brown

Rita Mae Brown writes about bold women, people who buck convention and the richly eccentric characters of the Southern U.S. She may be better known for the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries that feature her cat, Sneaky Pie, as a “co-author” (they are entertaining.) and her first novel "Rubyfruit Jungle" which is considered a landmark work of lesbian fiction. I want to direct you to some of my personal favorites.

Southern Discomfort” is set in Montgomery, Alabama starting (I believe) in the 1920’s and is populated with a cast of unusual and tremendously vivid characters. The novel is authentically Southern and an excellent read. Any review you read will make it sound like a breezy romance, but it's really a portrait of a community and the scandals and changes that take place in it over the course of two decades.

I also love her books about Julia (Juts) and Louise (Wheezie) Hunsenmeir and Juts’ adopted daughter Nickel. “Six of One”, “Bingo” and “Loose Lips” are all set in the fictional town of Runneymede which is located smack-dab on the Mason-Dixon line. The sisters are competitive, full of life and absolutely hilarious. The books cover the sister’s later years (in which they refuse to slow down) as well as their youth, Nickel's present-day predicaments and delves into the family history. The stories are at least partially autobiographical (Nickel's is adoption is a great story and mirrors events in Ms. Brown's autobiograhy) ...and, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.

Her official website is and an interview with the author on can be found here.

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