2017
Designed by Michael Kilfoy
ISBN: 978-0-692-87027-3
215 pages


A respected family from rural Missouri petitions the State Highway Department’s Adopt-A-Highway program, thinking to claim a stretch of Interstate in St. Louis County in the name of the Ku Klux Klan. The Highway Department denies the application, creating controversy and resulting in a legal battle over First Amendment rights. We see how this unfolding drama affects several factions which have, or hope to have, skin in the game—grain elevator operator and small museum curator Randall Fortner, and his family; stalwart civil rights attorney Tom Consolino; the won’t-budge-an-inch state bureaucrats; the hierarchy of the regional Klan, and certain opportunistic neighbors of the Fortners. Additional characters include a Desert Storm army vet, a meth dealer, an aspiring social anthropologist, a Baptist minister, a wandering Deadhead, an estranged daughter,

and a recreational thief whose specialty is roadside memorials. 

No Big Thing spans three years, beginning in 1992, and is set in Pine Grove, a fictional small town located in the deeply rural environs of Jefferson County, an hour south of St. Louis. The town, actually a village, was founded in 1851 by a one-eyed slave trader, Tom Griffin.

“This vividly imagined historical novel is a compelling, eye-opening, and important read.” –The 2017 Booklife Prize for Fiction

“Stage’s light style and smooth writing present an interesting story, raising issues that American’s have debated since the infancy of our nation. Great fiction does more than tell an interesting story, it provokes thought beyond the book’s pages. No Big Thing does precisely that, and is a book you should read.” –Illinois Times

“Stage’s narrative touches on the country’s widening racial gap and suggests that millions of Americans might be quietly seething white supremacists—“honorary Klansmen”—on the brink of open rebellion. It’s a startling and timely premise to a well-written story—one that includes Old South traditions and dirt road romance, with a healthy does of beer joint camaraderie thrown in for good measure.” 
Blue Ink Review

Price $10.95