Monday, June 09, 2008

Father of the "Rough South" Genre

As far back as I could remember, I had longed and lusted for an unlimited supply of books . . . When I got to my first duty station and walked into the base library, it was like throwing a starving man a turkey. I did my time in the Corps with a book always at hand.

~ Classic Crews p12
Harry Crews

The Gospel Singer (1968)
Naked in Garden Hills (1969)
This Thing Don't Lead To Heaven (1970)
Karate is a Thing of the Spirit (1971)
Car (1972)
The Hawk is Dying (1973)
The Gypsy's Curse (1974)
A Feast of Snakes (1976)
The Enthusiast (1981)
All We Need of Hell (1987)
The Knockout Artist (1988)
Body (1990)
Scar Lover (1992)
Classic Crews: A Harry Crews Reader (1993) Mixture of fiction/nonfiction
The Mulching of America (1995)
Celebration (1998)
Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left To Go? (1998)
An American Family: The Baby With the Curious Markings (2006)

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (1978)
Blood and Grits (1979)
Florida Frenzy (1982)
2 By Crews (1984)
Madonna at Ringside (1991)


Diane said...

what defines the rough south genre?

____Maggie said...

Hi Diane, I'm working on an article, but for now this is how a couple of reader's advisory superstars define rough south; although, they call it grit lit.

Grit lit is this "subgenre of Southern fiction is a direct response to the work of William Faulkner, a close cousin to Erskine Caldwell's tales of rural poverty and Flannery O'Connor's grotesque fantasies of alienation. The best grit lit is filled with ornery, deranged, and desperate characters who are fueled by violence, sex, and alcohol. Most the books discussed here are not for the faint of heart. Grit lit never pulls punches. It is, after all, gritty.--David Hellman and Nancy Pearl

Paul said...

Harry Crews is a helluva writer Maggie !!

____Maggie said...

I'm finding that out, Paul, and am gaining a great respect for his work.

Susie said...

Okay, at the risk of sounding like a wimp, a shrinking violet,a wuss...what would be the mildest Harry Crews I could dip my toe into? I'm open to new styles, but I am the sensitive musician type...HA!

____Maggie said...

Classic Crews would be a great start, Susie! I'm loving the autobiography and his short non-fiction pieces within. Might be my article for the week...

sage said...

I've been meaning to read Crews for several years and haven't gotten there--as far as "rough south genre," I'd nominate Greg Bottoms (Sentimental, Heartbroken Redneck is my second book in your challenge, I need to write the review).

____Maggie said...

Ew, thanks for the lead Sage. I'll look into it. I read Daniel Woodrell's Death of Sweet Mister yesterday and I would say he belongs in the category, too. His setting is Missouri. Have you read him?

Susie said...

Just called the Batesville branch and they are getting it from Oxford for me.(For some reason, that's where they have to get all the books I'm requesting lately!)Just picked up "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" by Janisse Ray. Read a review on someone's blog and it sounds interesting!I'll let you know how the Crews read turns out.

____Maggie said...

Susie - Oxford's public library collection is truly awesome! Dotsy buys books with a southern twist that compliments Square Books' shelves. She will not spend one cent of budget money for romances. They strictly live off donations for those. :)

I'm sure you read Sage's review of EoaCC. You'll need to tell him what cha think when done. :)

Susie said...

Starting "cracker" tonight. Just in from son's excruciating 13-2 loss...first inning lasted five days, it seemed. Need a book to change my focus...cracker is it!

____Maggie said...

Enjoy! ;D