Bonnie, Frederic (1945 - 2000)

Genre: General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Short Stories

Short story writer, novelist, editor, teacher, and gardening writer Fred Bonnie was born on October 11, 1945 in Bridgton, Maine, but spent much of his life near Birmingham, AL, where he moved in 1974 to become gardening editor for Southern Living magazine. He attended the University of Maine in Portland, the University of New Hampshire, Universite de Nice, Harvard University, and Jefferson State Junior College; received a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1971; and earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Richard North Patterson was a classmate).

Besides writer and editor, jobs included milkman, caddy, cook, factory worker, house painter, landscaper, teacher (taught fiction writing, University of Alabama Special Studies, 1978-1982), Harvard University and University of Vermont library staffer, salesman, janitor, and literary journal editor and publisher (Isinglass Review, 1968-1974). During the late 1980s, he conducted readings regularly in a bookstore/cafe called NewsBreak in Birmingham. He also helped organize the Birmingham Southern College Writing Today conference annually.

Bonnie died on 13 May 2000.

Selected Bibliography

Gardening Books

  • Growing Flowers (1975, with H. C. Thompson)
  • Growing Lawns and Ground Covers (1975)
  • House Plants (1975)
  • The Compleat Vegetable Book (1976, with Lena Sturges)
  • Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: a Guide for Home Gardeners (1976)
  • Growing Plants in Containers, Indoors and Out (1976)
  • Vegetable Gardening (1976)


  • Squatter's Rights: Stories (1979)
  • Displaced Persons: Stories (1982)
  • Too Hot & Other Maine Stories (1987)
  • Wide Load (1987)
  • Food Fights: Tales from the Restaurant Trade: Stories (1997)
  • Detecting Meta (1998)
  • Widening the Road (2000, revised versions of stories previously published in Canada in Squatter's Rights and Displaced Persons)
  • Thanh Ho Delivers (novel, 2000)