To know the Sweet Potato Queens is to love them, and if you haven't heard about them yet, you will. Since the early 1980s, this group of belles gone bad has been the toast of Jackson, Mississippi, with their glorious annual appearance in the St. Patrick's Day parade. In The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, their royal ringleader, Jill Conner Browne, introduces the Queens to the world with this sly, hilarious manifesto about love, life, men, and the importance of being prepared. Chapters include: The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times Men Who May Need Killing, Quite Frankly What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment And, of course: The Best Advice Ever Given in the Entire History of the World From tales of the infamous Sweet Potato Queens' Promise to the joys of Chocolate Stuff and Fat Mama's Knock You Naked Margaritas, this irreverent, shamelessly funny book is the gen-u-wine article.
Unlike other beauty queens, the Jackson, Miss., Sweet Potato Queens are self-crowned, rule for life (there's no "former" tag for these gals) and are real women figure flaws and all. Originally organized in 1982, the Queens are, by their own account, "fallen Southern belles" and "female drag queens" and as such, they are all about attitude and humor. This buoyantly funny guide to life and love is a hoot from the get-go as ringleader Browne offers queenly observations on life's most pressing issues. Some topics may seem trivial, such as tanning, making the most of big hair and delighting in "big, sturdy, serviceable, substantial Russian immigrant underwear" for pregnant women (it's so "indescribably comfy" that "you may never go back"), but they are expertly mined for laughs. Non-cooks may reconsider when reading the hilariously artery-clogging recipes in the chapter "What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes," highlighting the four main food groups (sweet, salty, fried and au gratin) and suitable for both therapeutic and recreational eating. The life-affirming final chapter reminds readers of life's many options: "Life may indeed be short, but it is, for a fact, wide." If you can't get enough of the Queens, you can visit their Web site (coming in January): www.sweetpotatoqueens.com. (Feb.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Be the most prepared woman in the world...read this!
Posted February 18, 2010 by Dorothy0202 , NYCAs I read this book, not only did I laugh out loud on the subway in NYC, but I knew half the people in the book. As a Southern woman by birth (and rite) I found a new love and humour in myself, my family, and my friends. The Sweet Potato Queens is not just for southern women; I encourage all women and men to read it. There were parts of this book that I ear-marked so I could read them back to my Mom and my boyfriend and they both agreed that they would sit and listen to me read the whole book. Actually, as an actress, I think it would make a wonderful stage show...hint, hint Jill Conner Browne! I'm availiable. About to read the third, and can't wait!
January 19, 1999
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Excerpt from The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne
on Account of You Just Never Know
The first rule of being prepared is, of course, always shave your legs. In a perfect world, we would not even have to mention armpits, but, sadly, even in the rarefied atmosphere of the Sweet Potato Queens domain, the hairy armpit issue has materialized. We have one Queen--she's the youngest and she missed the whole hippie thing when it was original and she's being forced to live through it now, when it is so over, since she chose to move to Boulder, Colorado, where it is apparently the height of chic to be an ugly woman. At any rate, she has not grown up and out of it sufficiently yet to begin, or I guess resume would be more accurate, shaving her underarms and so we have to do a pit check on her when she comes back to Jackson every year at parade time. (It should be duly noted that she's so beautiful and queenly that, even with hairy armpits, she's a knockout and thus has become a tourist attraction in Boulder.)
Shave everything that needs it and by all means, always wear pretty underwear, on account of you just never know. A good case can be made for carrying around with you your toothbrush, a change of underwear, a large supply of your chosen method of protection, your favorite pillow, and perhaps even a canned ham. We feel that the last item moves beyond simply being Optimistically Prepared and into the realm of Predatory Anticipation, and thus we must take a stand against it. After a pretty bad streak of men, we even considered amending the list to include carrying some sort of weapon, also because you just never know. If there exists in this universe anything more infuriating and crazy-making than a man, I don't know what it is, thank you, and I don't want to know. Of course, on a good day, I would also have to say if there is anything in this universe better than a man, I don't know what it is; and I don't think it would even be healthful for me to know at this stage of my life.