<em>Welcome to Braggsville
by T. Geronimo Johnson
William Morrow, $25.99
Published Feb. 17, 2015
The Bottom Line is a weekly review combining plot description and analysis with fun tidbits about the book.
What we think:
Even the title of T. Geronimo Johnson’s second novel, Welcome to Braggsville, drips with morbid humor. Who, exactly, is welcome in the small Southern town of Braggsville, Georgia? At first, at least in the eyes of innocent college freshman Daron Davenport, everyone is equally welcome — until he has cause to question that equality. In acute, tragicomic fashion, Johnson turns this tale of a misbegotten college student protest of a Civil War reenactment into a subtle exploration of identity, personal narrative, collective narrative, racism, academic elitism and far more.
“Why did YOU go along with it? Because she spoke Spanish to the guard at the Mt. Olivet cemetery who, once informed of her plans, mucho gustoed all the brochures she wanted plus one plaque that danced between your spooked fingers like a shekel that still smelled of the mint. Because her great-grandfather was from near here, and could have been Ishi. Because to be one-eighth anything is to be one-eighth everything.”