Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Prioleau Alexander's You Want Fries With That?: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage

Southern Cadre Member Frank Reiss checks in with his thoughts on this week's edition of Cover To Cover--

I meet a lot of first-time authors in my line of work. Few of them give me a greater sense of confidence about their imminent success than Prioleau (pronounced Pray-Lo) Alexander. The former marine and former advertising executive carries himself with unmistakable good humor and self-assurance. His book, You Want Fries With That?: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage conveys that good humor in abundance. Each chapter details his experiences working such jobs as delivering pizzas, scooping ice cream and serving fast food.

The book shows the author's true understanding not just of finding humor in common situations but, more impressively, conveying it deftly in well-wrought prose. Alexander is an Auburn grad and a native of Charleston, S.C.--where he went to high school with a pretty fair humorist named Stephen Colbert--and he is already at work on another humorous book recounting the process of getting published. The working title: They Don't Call It Submission for Nothing.

Our conversation on Cover To Cover Sunday night at 8pm treads the dangerous ground of trying to examine just how he writes such hilarious sentences, and he revealed himself to be very serious about the craft of being funny. Talking to Prioleau Alexander was a pleasure. Reading his book was a hoot. Here's betting that he'll soon be a well-enough-known southern humorist that his name won't seem so hard to pronounce.