by Allan Gurganus
Knopf; 252 pages; $21.95
Allan Gurganus' popular 1989 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All is an exuberant comic novel narrated by a Southern nonagenarian. Dixie whistles through the stories Gurganus has collected for White People, although the theme of the Lost Cause is rearranged for misplaced lives. The attitudes and manners of Gurganus' characters are small-town first and Confederate second -- even third. Similarly, the author's narrators are perceptive misfits who just happen to be gay. "I've got an extra tenderness. It's not legal," is the laconic observation of one homosexual who is attracted to a...