cover image Antediluvian Tales

Antediluvian Tales

Poppy Z. Brite, . . Subterranean, $25 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59606-116-3

The seven stories in this slim collection from Brite (Soul Kitchen ) form a poignant requiem for pre-Katrina New Orleans, which serves as the setting for all of them. Most are brief sketches featuring characters on the periphery of her tales of chefs Rickey and G-Man, and in their descriptions of local landmarks and daily rituals of the natives, one catches the author’s unabashed affection for the Big Easy. Two stories, “Wound Man and Horned Melon Go to Hell” and “The Devil of Delery Street,” come from the supernatural side of Brite’s oeuvre, but the book’s best is “The Feast of St. Rosalie,” whose simple account of a young woman contemplating romance in the midst of a religious festival mixes charm and pathos for a beautiful elegy to Brite’s hometown. (Nov.)