Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dueling Southern Authors

Among the classic Southern authors, who is the Southernest?
I’ll write their names alphabetically so as not to show my prejudices.

1. Erskine Caldwell
2. William Faulkner
3. Zora Neale Hurston
4. Harper Lee
5. Carson McCullers
6. Margaret Mitchell
7. Flannery O'Connor
8. Mark Twain
9. Alice Walker
10. Robert Penn Warren
11. Eudora Welty
12. Tennessee Williams
13. _______________

Please, leave a post so we may disagree! :D


jenclair said...

Just to add a couple more ~ Walker Percy and John Kennedy O'Toole.

maggie moran said...

So true! Confederacy of Dunces is quite a joke in our house.

I also forgot Hemingway!

SFP said...

I was going to say Walker Percy, but since JenClair beat me to it, I'll add Thomas Wolfe.

maggie moran said...

Is that big or little TW, sfp? ;) Yes, you are right! Now, are y'all claiming Percy is the southernest?

ricklibrarian said...

I'd say Eudora Welty, except she was more liberal-minded than what people outside the South think of as a Southern, which may not be fair as Southerns can not all be lumped together as the same. In fact, all authors may think things that are different from the population from which they come. The fact that they are authors makes them a little different. But being different is something Southerns excel at, so I will go with Eudora Welty. (I grew up in Texas so I am not Deep South but sorta Southern a little removed.)

Anonymous said...

It's Erskine Caldwell for subject matter. :)

Bookfool said...

Love the bottle tree. I'll duck out of the conversation. Well, no, did you mention my hero, Larry Brown? Someday I have to read his fiction, but his nonfiction is just so amazing that I think of him as sort of an "everyman" when it comes to Southerners. Willie Morris was great but I think all that moving about as a scholar and big-time magazine editor disqualifies him a bit.

maggie moran said...

Okay Rick, are you stereotyping Southerners or writers? :D I think Southern authors were so successful because they were pointing out the wrongness of racism when their neighbors would rather maintain a status quo (possibly not rock the boat enough to turn it over) or let the author express their views because they feel powerless to.

Paul, I have to read Caldwell! Tobacco Road appeals to me most.

You are so right about LB, Bookfool! I’m not sure he is in the classic category, yet. I’ve heard his writing referred to as the “dirty south” or Rough South genre. Kewl!

ricklibrarian said...

Maggie, I am trying to say that there is a stereotype about Southerners, but it is not fair, as there is no one Southern mindset. Great Southern writers have many views. They see the problems of the human condition anywhere they go and describe them in story. I was trying to make Welty most Southern because she is my favorite of the group. So I want her to win. I'm pretty silly and not making much sense. Still it is fun to comment.

maggie moran said...

Rick, I totally agree! Welty is the master of Southern characterization. She gets our mindset, whether ignorant or intellectual, and provides them within characters which exibit both. You want to dislike a character for being evil then realize, "Hey, she's not so bad."

My money is on Welty too for most Southernest!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Hamilton Basso, an undeservedly neglected novelist whom I like very much.