May 7, 2006


There's this kinda....odd guy I know from conferences and signings and whatnot, name of Sonny Brewer. He's a novelist. There's a story about old Sonny on the front page of the New York Times Style page thanks to writer Warren St. John's deep appreciation for ODDNESS. You should go read it. Really.

I know it seems a little pot-and-kettle for me of all people to call someone ELSE odd. At the Alabama Writer's Symposium this weekend, a man came up to me after my talk and reading, handed me a copy of my book to sign, and as I scribbled my name and best wishes to him, he layed a gentle hand on my shoulder and said, "You ARE in therapy, right?" When I laughed and said, "Oh, goodness me, no," he took his book and backed away slowly, looking more than a little alarmed. ALSO, just after a brunch where I consumed 4 glasses of tap water on the rocks, a friend stopped me as I headed to the parking lot and said, "Better pass Karen the keys. I don't think you're okay to drive, hon." I apparently send off natural crazy-slash-drunk vibes even when dead sober and at my most earnest.

So when I say soemone is ODD...well, I like to think there's a certain amount of CACHE there, you know? What on earth is the odd man's bizarro? Answer: Sonny Brewer. He's old school southern genteel crazy, part of a wild Alabama tribe of writers I call The Fairhope Posse, and if you are getting the impression that I have more than little fondness in my heart for the man and, indeed, the whole posse, you are correct.

Here's a typical Sonny story: He had a problem with his sewage system and a yard full of horror and everything had to be dug up and drained and patched and put back. In the middle of the process, he noticed the new wet concrete mortar collar for the sewer drain pipe was exposed. The whole yard would be shoveled back on top of it as soon as the concrete hardened, and Sonny got himself a stick and leaned down into the hole and did this:


He said he though a buried chunk of concrete whose sole purpose in life is to hold the crapper's pipe in place was a fitting monument to him.

Sonny Brewer KILLS me.

Seriously, go read the story.

Posted by joshilyn at May 7, 2006 5:01 PM

WOW! and to think I've never read one of his books. Where have I been? I'm going to get his first one now.
and by the way....what's so wierd about him?

Posted by: desi at May 7, 2006 6:14 PM

Fabulous, just fabulous! I can only applaud Mr. Stuart and Mr. Brewer, being myself a self-professed hermit. Of course, I'll be buying that book, now. Might have to build me a hurricane-proof hut, too. I do so love my book collection and single-wides just don't seem a safe haven for them in heavy weather. Thanks for the link, Joshilyn. You're a dear.

Posted by: David at May 7, 2006 6:19 PM

O, I'm feeling a road trip coming on...Fairhope's on the itinerary.

"...because I lie," is the best reason I've ever heard for writing fiction. I often say "I make stuff up," but let's not split hairs here, Sonny is right on!

Don't worry, Joshilyn, ice water definitely has properties heretofore misunderstood by the greater populace.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at May 7, 2006 8:58 PM


I'll order his book now :)


Posted by: Kismet at May 7, 2006 9:16 PM

Reading about Sonny makes me miss home. These are places I know and are imprinted on my soul. Long may our "southern characters" live!!!!!

Posted by: asilon at May 7, 2006 9:35 PM

FABULOUS! As Flannery O'Connor once said "Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

Posted by: Jenn at May 8, 2006 12:47 AM

That's fantastic. Must go order his book now.

Posted by: Aimee at May 8, 2006 10:38 AM

Definately intriguing

Posted by: Cele at May 8, 2006 12:05 PM

Just got his poet of Tolstoy book today! it came in just 2 days from the order date. I'm starting it today!

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