Mean Mary Jean: Short Stories

Mary Jean Fielder, Author Black Belt Press $18 (257p) ISBN 978-1-881320-51-7
In this collection of short pieces, the author, a mother of three who has held a variety of jobs, relates stories of her mischievous girlhood in Alabama, her three marriages and her struggles as a single mother. ""Mean Mary Jean,"" Fielder's rather ominous childhood nickname, resulted from such pranks as accidentally drowning some baby chicks and marooning a kitten in a bucket of lard, but she remembers her early years as fun-filled and her parents and extended family as warm and loving. Her folksy humor is engaging when she describes quirky relatives or romantic experiences but serves her less well in anecdotal opinion pieces expressing, for example, her strong feelings against abortion, her belief in corporal punishment or her dislike of the North. In another article, she reminisces about her participation in 1958, as a seventh grader, in the first, unsuccessful, gubernatorial campaign of George C. Wallace. Her affection for her children and for the Southern way of life infuses many of these essays. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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