All-Girl Football Team

Nordan, Lewis. The All-Girl Football Team. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1989.

At first I didn’t know what to make of the collection of short stories within The All-Girl Football Team. Most of the stories take place in Arrow Catcher, Mississippi and Sugar Mecklin is almost always the central character. Sugar is a typical young boy looking for ways to grow up fast in a stranger than strange household. Mama is obsessed with drama and tinged with mental illness and Daddy is an alcoholic with a thing for rock ‘n roll. All of the stories are laced with an off-kilter humor that alternately made me want to laugh and cry. The very first short story called, “Sugar Among the Chickens” tells the tale of eleven year old Sugar literally fishing (with a pole, hook and all) for the chickens in the front yard. Since his parents won’t let him go to the local watering hole chickens are his substitute for fish and fresh kernels of corn serve as bait…However, the third story, “Sugar, the Eunuchs and Big G.B” wasn’t nearly as funny as it was dark. In it Sugar tries to shoot his father. You’ll begin to notice Nordan has a things for guns, especially loaded ones. Probably the hardest story to read was “Wild Dog.” If you have a thing for animals read it with one eye shut tight.

Favorite section, “I threw a cat into the chicken yard…The rooster killed the cat, but it didn’t take a hook. Too bad about the cat. You’re not going to catch a rooster without making a sacrifice or two” (p 9).

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called, ” Lewis Nordan: Too Good To Miss” (p 173). Here is what I find interesting. “Off-kilter humor that alternately made me want to laugh and cry” was how I described Nordan’s autobiography, Boy With a Loaded Gun. Truth is stranger than fiction.

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