St. Louis author Wm. Stage will be reading from (and selling) his new book “Not Waving, Drowning,” at The Royale this week. Look for him on the back patio on Tuesday, May 22 at 5:30. He’ll be reading off-on from then until 7:30, revving it back up as new patrons and interested parties arrive. Please join the longstanding local columnist, photographer and gadfly in a celebration of his newest work.

A summary:

A panhandler has a plum situation in the city, until she takes in a stray dog. A process server is caught relieving himself in an alley, a seemingly mundane event that sets off a cascade of ever-worsening misfortunes. During their getaway, two bank robbers make a wrong turn and accidentally end up in St. Louis’ Hibernian Parade—a serious problem since Black Irish are not welcome. These are some of the hapless characters in Not Waving, Drowning, Wm. Stage’s new work containing eight short stories, all set in the St. Louis area. Drawn from people he has either known or observed, the characters in these stories ring true, evoking drollery, pathos, and wonder.

And a tip of the cap:

“For what it’s worth, reviewing serious literature from ‘Midwestern’ writers always seems to be an afterthought versus the treatment given to newest, hottest writer emerging from New York with her trendy version of life in the Big City, a story that frankly makes you want to gag. Stage’s stories are about real people who face up to life like the rest of us. No bullshit, no pretense, just the guts of what makes life work for the fringe players in this old river town.”
– Steve Means, author, The Blue Kat