Bird, Kansas

Tony Parker, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (327p) ISBN 978-0-394-57794-4
Parker ( Red Hill: A Mining Community ) here excerpts with telling effect nearly 100 interviews he made at a farming town in Kansas. ``So now this here's Main Street,'' says sheriff Jim Arnoldsen, who offers to ``show him around.'' A high school foursome discuss sex and patriotism; an accident victim tells how he ``travels'' through books read in his wheelchair; a school counselor, county attorney and judge (all women) are cheery and proud; a former deputy sheriff drives a school bus at age 74; an auto dealer finds God. All seem content with peaceful prairie-town life where everyone knows everyone. This is a charming and broadly penetrating survey of a quiet mid-American community. But that's it. Nothing much happens. Except that, for a brief 16 pages, Parker travels a few miles away, to a black community called ``Nicodemus'' which continues to remain apart. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
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