Monday, June 02, 2008

Southern Author Meme!

Medbie of Medb’s Montage & Andi of Andilt tagged me for this fun author meme. I morphed it to Southern Authors for the challenge.

1. Name your all-time favorite southern author. Why?

An easy answer would be Harper Lee and her ultimate southern book To Kill a Mockingbird. But, I’m more complicated; especially since Miss Lee only wrote one book. In my under-educated opinion, Eudora Welty is my all time favorite. I like her southern ladies, her comical situations, her use of symbols, and her distinguishable southern voice. Although, Richard Wright blew me away with Native Son, the story of Bigger Thomas written in 1940. Wright wrote a stereotypical anti-hero whom happened to be black, poor, and ignorant. Bigger’s life follows the white “what-if” scenario to the letter. (Pretty tough stuff for 1940, folks)

2. Name your first favorite southern author. Why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

I first came to southern literature through ghost stories. I remember being entranced by haunted house stories the most! My memories include a smokey Appalachian mountain where a cabin sits on the dark side (east, cause it gets darker sooner) with one lone lantern light blowing back and forth on the porch. EEERRRIIEE! I’m sure I sought these books out because of campfire stories and wanting to be the kid with the fresh take.

Have you ever heard of the Bell Witch? She is a popular campfire story in Tennessee, and I was a little creep(ed)-out when I found the family moved to Batesville, MS, our current county seat.

Mark Twain would be the first author since I absolutely loved anything about the Mississippi River. Funny thing, I had no trouble with the colloquialisms. I already spoke that way! Um, and still do!

I still like Mark Twain, and visit with him on snowy nights. Finn by Jon Clinch is more to my grown-up taste. :)

3. Name the most recent addition to your list of favorite southern authors. Why?

Hillary Jordan and her ultimate southern tale, Mudbound, excites my “you gotta read this” button!

It has been a joy to present this book to local book clubs and hear the different conversations which spurt up afterwards. I had mentioned the fact that the Jacksons were share tenants and not sharecroppers which was a new term to me. One of the black audience members shook her head vigorously in agreement. After I finished, she told the group how her family was one of the first share tenants in Tate County. And, this only happens in small towns, her family farm and agreement was with another white woman in the audience. Then the white woman gave a testimony on behalf of the black woman’s hard-working family. How Awesome!?!

Miss Jordan doesn’t know the extent of her service by writing this book. We, as in Southerners, need more books like this to spark conversation and get the humanity train a rollin’!

4. If Someone asked you who your favorite southern authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?

First Thoughts: Hillary Jordan, Clyde Eggerton, Lee Smith, Jon Clinch, Eudora Welty, Carl Hiaasen, Wilma Dykeman, Harper Lee, John Kennedy Toole, Larry Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, Willie Morris, Charlaine Harris, and Tony Earley

Further Reflections: Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Anne Moody, Anne George, Flannery O’Connor, Ricky Bragg, Michael Lee West, Mildred Taylor, and the short stories of Katherine Anne Porter.

5. Tag Your It!