Bailey White, a long-time NPR commentator, is best known for her funny short stories about the folks in her family and in her small Georgia hometown. My personal favorite is Computer School–an essay featured in her collection Sleeping at the Starlite Motel. For the state of Georgia today I’ve chosen her novel, Quite a Year for Plums.
Roger, a local peanut pathologist and Della, a local bird artist trying to save an endangered breed of chickens, are the main folks in this story. But small town life is about everyone and this book has a wide-ranging and eccentric cast of characters–just like you’d find in a Bailey White essay. You can read the New York Times review here.
What matters most to reading this story is the hear the author’s real voice. It’s combination of southern magnolias, sweet tea and…well, gravel. Once you catch the sound of her voice, her writing is electric. Take a listen to this NPR story: