In this, Mr. Bonnie’s sixth story collection, you’ll quickly see why Erskine Caldwell called Bonnie’s third collection, Too Hot & Other Maine Stories, "a masterful achievement." The praise for Bonnie’s work has continued, for Publishers Weekly called him "a master raconteur." Why? Simple enough: Bonnie is a writer who’s not afraid to write a story that’s a story. With loving strokes he depicts character, plot, conflict, and resolution-a combination all too hard to find in contemporary short fiction.
ISBN 0-942979-53-2, quality paper, $9.95 Sale $5.00
ISBN 0-942979-54-0, cloth, $19.95 Sale $10.00
Fred Bonnie’s published work includes six collections of short stories, the most recent of which is Detecting Metal, which was placed on Booklist’s Editor’s Choice for 1998. During Bonnie’s five-year tenure as garden editor of Oxmoor House and Southern Living Magazine, he also published six how-to books on gardening.
Fred Bonnie often sets his stories in the workplace, drawing on varied backgrounds to provide material for his fiction. He has, since the age of 11, been a paperboy, caddy, dishwasher, mailroom clerk, book store clerk, short-order cook, milkman, factory worker, busboy, campground custodian, library assistant, professional conversationalist, janitor, bookkeeping supervisor in a bank, country-western singer, city directory canvasser, pizza deliveryman, horticultural journalist, bartender, advertising and PR executive, caterer, speech writer, chef, and teacher. He currently lives in Columbiana, Alabama, where he makes his living as a freelance writer.
I was once father to
forty babies. I was thirteen at the time, theoretically aware of the basics of
procreation, but unconvinced that people actually committed such a vile act,
even in the noble goal of perpetuating the human species. The prissy girls in my
eighth grade class certainly didn’t exude any species-perpetuating awareness,
but on those evenings when Sister Lilian and I stood in the doorway of the
orphanage nursery surveying all the cribs just before we flipped the light
switch and a soothing ultraviolet tint fell over the sleep-bound babies in their
cribs, I began to sense exactly how the species survived, and my role as
after-school daddy to the babies felt, at moments, vaguely erotic.