a collection of always humorous and often hilarious writing edited by noted Western folklorist C. L. Sonnichsen, adds a new chapter to the social history of the state. Covering the past century, excerpts range from Alfred Henry Lewis’s Wolfville series, which poked fun at the unhurried citizens of frontier Tombstone, to Barbara Kingsolver’s side-splitting account of trying to get a job and a place to stay in modern-day Tucson.
In the years between, a variety of humorists sniffed out the ridiculous in all corners of the state and in all levels of its society. Byrd Baylor does it for the Papago Indians living in Tucson. Mo Udall does it for the politicians. Country people, city people, and the state’s great liars have their innings, too.
Arizona Humoresque is good for browsing, but it has historical and literary value for those who want to look closer. It introduces some of Arizona’s best writers to a generation that might otherwise forget them.