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!


Susan Gregg Gilmore said...


Hi there. Wow, I'm so happy to hear your friends are liking the book! Love it.

Paperback -- good question -- I don't areally know -- I"d say anywhere from November to March -- how's that for a vague response -- I'll post it on my website as soon as I know.

Have fun reading!


maggie moran said...

Thanks, Susan! Now that I found you, I'll be sure to mark the blog for further news. :)

Medbie said...

I had forgotten Eudora Welty. I've only read the Robber Bridegroom (is that the title--the one that incorporates the folk tales) and enjoyed it. I'll have to look up more of hers.

Thanks for doing the meme!

LeeLee said...

Maggie, I love the Bell Witch story. I want to take a spooky road trip to her home someday. Was she supposed to have moved with them to Batesville? I can't recall. What I do remember is her calling the mother "Luce" and pulling the girl's hair when she was in bed at night. I also remember the detail of her dropping exotic fruit on the table when there were guests around one night and then recognizing the same detail the next time I taught Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. That reassured me that at least some of the details were conjured up by imagination and not witches!

I think I figured out Mr. Linky, btw, but I added my name after you already had and I don't know how to zap one--sorry

maggie moran said...

Try The Optimist's Daughter Medbie. I like the short story, "Why I Live at the PO," too!

I enjoyed doing the meme, and I don't think I could do it if I had to include all authors read. :)

leelee - I'm not sure if the witch traveled out of state. :)

I read a little fictional account (wish I could remember the name) where the daughter makes up all these stories to hide the fact that her father is abusing her. I'll take the ghost stories any day to this real-life scenario.

Hey, do you think we will disappear if we walk over the Bells' graves in Batesville? ;)

No problem with Mister Linky. I really didn't cover that very well in class.

Debi said...

Nice twist on the author meme, Maggie! Of course, we would expect no less from you. You know, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with how many incredible authors there are out there that I have yet to try...of course, it's nice knowing there's still so much to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Pat Conroy and Dorothy Allison are two South Carolina authors Maggie !

maggie moran said...

Thanks Debi! I can see you are a girl that considers the glass half full. :)

Now, Paul, this is my meme. You go on and do your own. This way, I'll be dang, I forgot Pat Conroy and Dorothy Allison. :P

Bookfool said...

Hey Maggie,

I just saw your question in response to my comment about our library sale corner. Our little sale corner has got a combination of the library's rejects (whatever is pulled out of circulation), donated books and magazines, and sometimes even video or cassette tapes -- whatever media people want to get rid of. It's run by the Friends of the Library, not the city/county, and helps to support their worthy efforts. I've donated things to the library itself, in the past, so it can be done.

maggie moran said...

Oh, I love FotL stores, Bookfool! The new Southaven library is said to have a spacious one. These really help the library raise money for summer reading programs, grants, supplies, and building repairs. I went in one, while in Seattle, that was cleaner, bighter than the library itself! They sold notecards and stuffed animals, too. That library of your's sounds awesome! :)

Isabel said...

Maggie - what's a share tenant?

katrina said...

Hi, I still can't get your email to work . Mine is

maggie moran said...

This is how I understand it WW100. A share tenant owns his own property, house, mule and gets seeds from the owner of the farm he backs against. The farmer then gets a third or fourth of the harvest instead of a half.