Speed, Alabama (pop. 14,000) is holding its Sesquicentennial and the Fancy Strut is the ""most prestigious category"" in the...

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FANCY STRUT

Speed, Alabama (pop. 14,000) is holding its Sesquicentennial and the Fancy Strut is the ""most prestigious category"" in the marching contest engaged in by the Speed Rockettes and watched by their Majorette Mothers along with everyone else in town. This takes place during the weeks prior to the big event and follows assorted characters (Miss Iona, as old as the paper she writes obits for; the mayor; the only Jew in town) to various sites which might be the beauty parlor or the Piggly Wiggly or the El Rondo Motor Hotel where one couple in town meets, adulterously, although Monica Neighbors -- almost a belle -- submits to the tacky attraction of the producer-director of the pageant under a Sani Flush truck. Lee Smith is sort of a feature writer of the novel form using the kind of details, whether it's peau de soie slippers or peanut butter Nabs, which have an identification value for just this kind of readership -- once hugely overestimated as Eudora Welty's but really like that of Speed's own Messenger which comes by its name more honestly than that of this southern small town.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1973

ISBN: 0345410394

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973