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Old South, New South

As described in Patricia Evans' Southern Literature: Women Writers, "Southern literature (sometimes called the literature of the American South) is defined as American literature about the Southern United States or by writers from this region. Characteristics of Southern literature include a focus on a common Southern history, the significance of family, a sense of community and one’s role within it, a sense of justice, the region's dominant religion (Christianity — mainly Protestantism) and the burdens/rewards religion often brings, issues of racial tension, land and the promise it brings, a sense of social class and place, and the use of the Southern dialect."

Southern Literature has enjoyed several different periods of prominence, with some significant works coming in the pre-Civil War antebellum period, and a large number of noted novels appearing in the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy" sub-genre, mourning the South's loss in the U.S. Civil War conflict. Southern writing went through a period of renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s, with works from such influential writers as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Thomas Wolfe, Katherine Anne Porter, Robert Penn Warren, Caroline Gordon and others. From the 1940s onwards, the field of Southern Literature, which had been dominated by white male writers, grew to encompass many more female authors and African-American authors, including such noteworthy writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Reynolds Price, Shirley Ann Grau, James Dickey, Walker Percy and James Styron.

The field of contemporary Southern Literature has broadened even further, and the elements that go into "traditional" Southern fiction have become even more diffuse. Numerous mystery series, including those by James Lee Burke and Carolyn G. Hart, have strong Southern settings, as do many of the legal thrillers of John Grisham. The Southeastern United States is a popular region for mainstream literature, both in terms of authors coming from that area and as a setting for contemporary novels. The following list of recommended authors/titles is intended to provide a sampling of Southern Literature for today's reader, with an emphasis on recently published works, with some classics thrown in for good measure.

[ All books in this list which are owned by Lincoln City Libraries are hotlinked to their entries in our library catalog, so that you may check on their current availability. Some titles not owned by the libraries are included in this list due to their classic nature, or their position as part of a series. If you see a title on this list that is not hotlinked to our collection, please consider ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan department. ]

Dorothy AllisonTrash: Stories [2002]
Will AllisonWhat You Have Left [2007]
Rob Allyn Front Runner
Lisa Alther Original Sins [1981]
Mary Kay AndrewsHissy Fit [2004]
Little Bitty Lies [2003]
Bo Ball Appalachian Patterns: Stories
Toni Cade Bambara Gorilla, My Love
The Salt Eaters [1980]
The Sea Birds Are Still Alive: Collected Stories [1977]
Lois Battle Southern Women [1984]
Storyville [1993]
Wendell BerryA Place on Earth [1967]
Doris Betts Beasts of the Southern Wild and Other Stories [1973]
Heading West [1981]
Souls Raised From the Dead [1994]
Joe David Brown Addie Pray [1971]
Rita Mae Brown Bingo [1988]
Murder at Monticello [1994]
Rubyfruit Jungle [1973]
Southern Discomfort [1982]
Venus Envy [1993]
Linda BruckheimerThe Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way [2004]
Fielding Burke Call Home the Heart
James Lee Burke Black Cherry Blues [1989]
Burning Angel [1995]
The Convict: Stories [1985]
Half of Paradise [1965]
Heaven's Prisoners [1988]
In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead [1993]
Neon Rain [1987]
A Stained White Radiance [1992]
Olive Ann BurnsCold Sassy Tree [1984]
Leaving Cold Sassy [1992]
Milton T. BurtonThe Sweet and the Dead [2006]
Julie Cannon'Mater Biscuit [2004]
Willa Cather Sapphira and the Slave Girl [1940]
Fred Chappell Brighten the Corner Where You Are [1989]
Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You
Look Back All the Green Valley [1999]
More Shapes Than One
Samuel B. Charters Elvis Presley Calls His Mother After the Ed Sullivan Show
Jelly Roll Morton's Last Night at the Jungle Inn
Mark Childress Crazy in Alabama [1993]
Pat Conroy Beach Music [1995]
The Lords of Discipline [1980]
The Prince of Tides [2009]
South of Broad [2009]
The Water is Wide [1972]
Thomas H. CookMaster of the Delta [2008]
Joe Coomer The Decatur Road
Kentucky Love
Kathleen Coskran The High Price of Everything: Stories
Elizabeth CoxBargains in the Real World: Thirteen Stories [2001]
Harry Crews The Gospel Singer
The Hawk is Dying [1973]
The Knockout Artist
The Mulching of America [1995]
Scar Lover [1992]
Huston CurtissSins of the Seventh Sister [2003]

Trash - book cover    Storyville - book cover    Cold Sassy Tree - book cover    Sapphira and the Slave Girl -  book cover    Sins of the Seventh Sister - book cover    True Believers - book cover   

Donald S. Davis Thirteen Miles From Suncrest
Borden Deal Adventure
The Advocate
A Long Way to Go
The Loser
The Winner
Linda DorrellTrue Believers [2001]
Ellen Douglas Black Cloud, White Cloud
Can't Quit You, Baby
A Lifetime Burning
The Rock Cried Out
Andrew Dubus Adultery and Other Stories
Andrew Dubus III Bluesman [1993]
Elizabeth Nell Dubs Where Love Rules [1985]
John Dufresne Louisiana Power and Light [1994]
Julia C. Duncan Halfway Home [1979]
Wilma Dykeman Return the Innocent Earth
Clyde Edgerton The Bible Salesman [2008]
The Floatplane Notebooks [1988]
In Memory of Junior [1992]
Killer Diller [1991]
Raney [1985]
Walking Across Egypt [1987]
Elena Yates Eulo A Southern Woman [1993]
William Faulkner Absalom, Absalom! [1936]
As I Lay Dying [1930]
Big Woods: The Hunting Stories of William Faulkner [1955]
Flags in the Dust [1929]
The Hamlet [1940]
Intruder in the Dust [1948]
Mosquitoes [1927]
The Reivers [1962]
Sanctuary [1931]
The Wild Palms [1939]
Edna Ferber Giant [1952]
Showboat [1926]
Fannie Flagg Can't Wait to Get to Heaven [2006]
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man [1981]
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe [1987]
I Still Dream About You [2010]
Richard Ford A Piece of My Heart [1976]
Paula Fox The God of Nightmares
Dorothea Benton FrankIsle of Palms [2003]
Tom FranklinCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter [2010]
Ronald Friedland Bringing It All Back Home
Ernest J. Gaines The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman [1971]
A Gathering of Old Men [1983]
In My Father's House [1978]
A Lesson Before Dying [1993]
Mozart and Leadbelly: Stories and Essays [2005]
Ellen Garwood The Tune on the Stairs
William GayI Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories [2002]
Anne GeorgeThis One and Magic Life [1999]
Denise Giardina Storming Heaven [1987]
The Unquiet Earth
Kaye Gibbons Charms for the Easy Life [1993]
A Cure for Dreams [1991]
Ellen Foster [1987]
A Virtuous Woman [1989]
Reginald Gibbons Sweetbitter
Ellen Gilchrist The Annunciation [1983]
The Cabal and Other Stories [2000]
In the Land of Dreamy Dreams [1981]
Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle [1989]
Net of Jewels [1992]
Starcarbon [1994]
Ellen GlasgowVein of Iron [1935]
Gail Godwin Dream Children
Father Melancholy's Daughter [1991]
A Mother and Two Daughters [1982]
A Southern Family [1987]
Violet Clay [1978]
Judy GoldmanThe Slow Way Back [1999]
Shirley Ann Grau The Hard Blue Sky [1958]
The Keepers of the House [1964]
Nine Women: Short Stories
Roadwalkers [1994]
John GrishamFord County: Stories [2009]
Davis Grubb Ancient Lights
The Night of the Hunter
Shadow of My Brother
The Siege of 318
You Never Believe Me
Alan Gurganus The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All [1989]
White People [1991]
Ben Haas Daisy Canfield
Look Away, Look Away
Carolyn Haines Summer of the Redeemers [1994]
Tom T. Hall The Laughing Man of Woodmont Caves
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Barry Hannah Bats Out of Hell
Boomerang [1989]
Geronimo Rex
Hey Jack!
William Hardy The Jubjub Bird
M.A. HarperThe Worst Day of My Life, So Far: My Mother, Alzheimer's, and Me [2001]
Stephen Harrigan Jacob's Well
Donald Hays The Dixie Association [1984]
The Hangman's Children
Cathy HoltonBeach Trip [2009]
The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes [2007]
The Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes [2006]
Silas HouseClay's Quilt [2001]
Susan HubbardThe Society of S [2007]
William Humphrey The Collected Stories
No Resting Place
September Song
Josephine Humphreys The Fireman's Fair [1991]
Rich in Love
Zora Neale HurstonTheir Eyes Were Watching God [1937]
Robert InmanDairy Queen Days [1997]
Joshilyn JacksonBetween, Georgia [2006]
Hunter James All the Forgotten Places
Fenton Johnson Crossing the River
Scissors, Paper, Rock [1993]
Todd JohnsonThe Sweet By and By [2009]
Madison Jones Last Things
Passage Through Gehenna
Hillary JordanMudbound [2008]

Walking Across Egypt - book cover    Absalom, Absalom - book cover    Vein of Iron - book cover    Their Eyes Were Watching God -- book cover    The Sweet By and By - book cover    The Runaway - book cover   

MacKinlay KantorIf the South Had Won the Civil War [2001]
Terry KayRunaway [1997]
Cassandra KingThe Same Sweet Girls [2005]
John Knowles A Vein of Riches [1978]
Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird [1960]
Julius Lester And All Our Wounds Forgiven
Do Lord Remember Me
Katie Letcher Lyle The Golden Shores of Heaven
Michael Malone Handling Sin [1986]
Time's Witness [1989]
Uncivil Seasons [2001]
Margaret Maron Bloody Kin [1985]
Bootlegger's Daughter [1992]
Shooting at Loons [1994]
Southern Discomfort [1993]
Catherine Marshall Christy [1967]
Bobbie Ann Mason Feather Crowns [1993]
In Country [1985]
Love Life: Stories [1989]
Spence + Lila [1988]
Donald McCaig The Man Who Made the Devil Glad
Cormac McCarthy Child of God [1973]
Outer Dark [1968]
Suttree [1979]
Carson McCullers Collected Stories of Carson McCullers [1987]
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter [1940]
The Member of the Wedding [1946]
Dennis McFarlandPrince Edward [2004]
Larry McMurtry Cadillac Jack [1982]
The Last Picture Show [1966]
Texasville [1987]
James Alan McPherson Elbow Room: Stories [1977]
Hue and Cry: Short Stories
James Michener Texas [1985]
Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind [1936]
A.G. Mojtabai Called Out
Ordinary Time
Robert Morgan The Blue Valleys: A Collection of Stories [1989]
Phillip Quinn Morris Thirsty City
Willie Morris The Last of the Southern Girls
Katherine Mosby Private Altars [1995]
Betty Palmer Nelson Private Knowledge [1990]
Flannery O'Connor The Complete Stories [1971]
A Good Man is Hard to Find [1955]
Wise Blood [1952]
Chris Offutt Kentucky Straight [1992]
Michael Ondaatje Coming Through Slaughter [1976]
T.R. Pearson Cry Me a River [1993]
Gospel Hour
A Short History of a Small Place [1985]
Robert Newton Peck Hallapoosa [1988]
The Horse Hunters
Walker Percy Lancelot [1977]
The Moviegoer [1961]
The Second Coming [1980]
The Thanatos Syndrome [1987]
Jayne Anne Phillips Machine Dreams [1984]
Shelter [1994]
Padgett Powell Edisto
A Woman Named Drown
Eugenia Price Savannah [1983]
Reynolds Price Blue Calhoun [1992]
The Collected Stories [1993]
Good Hearts [1988]
Kate Vaiden [1986]
The Promise of Rest [1995]
The Tongues of Angels [1990]
Howell Raines Whiskey Man
Alice RandallThe Wind Done Gone [2001]
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Short Stories by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings [1994]
The Yearling [1939]
Sheri ReynoldsFirefly Cloak [2006]
Ann B. RossThe Miss Julia Series
-- Miss Julia's School of Beauty [2005]
-- Miss Julia Hits the Road [2001]
-- Miss Julia Takes Over [2003]
-- Miss Julia Paints the Town [2008]
-- Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle [2011]
-- Miss Julia Throws a Wedding [2002]
-- Miss Julia Strikes Back [2007]
-- Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind [1999]
-- Miss Julia Stands Her Ground [2006]
-- Miss Julia Delivers the Goods [2009]
-- Miss Julia Meets Her Match [2004]
-- Miss Julia Renews Her Vows [2010]
James SalisSalt River [2007]
Ferrol SamsRun With the Horsemen [1982]
Eve Sandstrom Death Down Home
Elise Sanguinetti The New Girl
Mary Lee Settle Choices [1995]
The Killing Ground
Fatima Shaik The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz
Louisa Shivers Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
Anne Rivers Siddons Downtown [1994]
Heartbreak Hotel [1976]
Homeplace [1987]
King's Oak [1990]
Outer Banks [1991]
Peachtree Road [1988]
Verna Mae Sloane Rennie's Way
Lee Smith Black Mountain Breakdown [1980]
Cakewalk [1980]
Fair and Tender Ladies [1988]
Family Linen [1985]
On Agate Hill [2006]
Saving Grace [1995]
Elizabeth SpencerThe Southern Woman: New and Selected Fiction [2001]
Judith Minthorn StacyStyles by Maggie Sweet [1999]
Anne Nall Stallworth This Time Next Year
Kathryn StockettThe Help [2009]
Penelope J. StokesDelta Belles [2006]
Harriet Beecher StoweUncle Tom's Cabin [DATE]
William Styron The Confessions of Nat Turner [1967]
Lie Down in Darkness [1951]
A Tidewater Morning [1993]

To Kill a Mockingbird - book cover    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - book cover    The Thanatos Syndrome - book cover    On Agate Hill - book cover    Delta Wedding - book cover    All the King's Men - book cover   

Peter H. Taylor The Old Forest and Other Stories
The Oracle at Stoneleigh Court [1993]
A Summons to Memphis [1986]
John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces [1980]
The Neon Bible
Jean Toomer Cane
Steven Turner A Measure of Dust
Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist [1985]
Breathing Lessons [1988]
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant [1982]
Saint Maybe [1991]
The Tin Can Tree [1965]
Alice Walker The Color Purple [1982]
In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women [1973]
Meridian [1976]
The Third Life of Grange Copeland [1970]
Robert Penn Warren All the King's Men [1946]
The Circus in the Attic and Other Stories
Manly Wade Wellman Valley So Low: Southern Mountain Stories [1987]
Rebecca Wells Little Altars Everywhere [1992]
Eudroa Welty The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty [1980]
A Curtain of Green and Other Stories [1991]
Delta Wedding [1974]
Losing Battles [1970]
The Robber Bridegroom [1942]
David Westheimer My Sweet Charlie [1965]
James Whitehead Joiner
James Wilcox Miss Undine's Living Room [1987]
Modern Baptists [1984]
North Gladiola [1985]
Sort of Rich
Janice Woods Windle True Women [1993]
Thomas Wolfe The Hills Beyond
Look Homeward, Angel [1929]
Of Time and the River [1935]
Stuart Woods Chiefs [1981]
Grass Roots [1989]
Palindrome [1991]
Richard Wright The Long Dream
Frank Yerby Speak Now [1969]
Shay Youngblood The Big Mama Stories [1989]
Ila Yount Patchwork
John Yount Thief of Dreams
Toots in Solitude
The Trapper's Last Shot
813.08 Gib New Stories by Southern Women [1989]
813.08 Gra South by Southwest: 24 Stories From Modern Texas
813.08 Hay Stories: Contemporary Southern Short Fiction [1989]
813.08 Rav New Stories From the South: The Year's Best [various years]
813.08 Sou Selected Stories From The Southern Review, 1965-1985

Original printed booklist compiled February 1996 bwc
Adapted and expanded for the Web March 2011 sdc

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