A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American South / Edition 1

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From slave narratives to the Civil War, and from country music to Southern sport, this Companion is the definitive guide to the literature and culture of the American South.

  • Includes discussion of the visual arts, music, society, history, and politics in the region
  • Combines treatment of major literary works and historical events with a survey of broader themes, movements and issues
  • Explores the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Huston, Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, as well as those - black and white, male and female - who are writing now
  • Co-edited by the esteemed scholar Richard Gray, author of the acclaimed volume, A History of American Literature (Blackwell, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The latest volume in Blackwell's "Companions to Literature and Culture" series features 33 brief essays that run the gamut of the Southern experience, from the Jamestown settlers to the contemporary era…Like Blackwell guides, the quality of the essays is high, and the authors cover as many points as possible within the space limits given them. Highly recommended. All academic and public libraries.”

"[T]he many contributors, British and American, to this splendid compendium of fact and opinion demonstrate the rich variety of literature and music that has emanated from the South in the past 150 years [...] The Companion is methodical in its overall structure and is comprehensive, informative and clearly written throughout. Each chapter has extensive lists of references and further reading and the index is full and accurate. This is a work that will remain a vital source for students of the subject and that can be profitably used by readers in general."
Reference Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Richard Gray is Professor in the Department of Literature at the University of Essex. His books include The Literature of Memory: Modern Writers of the American South, Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (which won the C. Hugh Holman Award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature), American Poetry of the Twentieth Century, The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography, Southern Aberrations: Writers of the American South and the Problems of Regionalism, and A History of American Literature. He is also editor of a number of collections and anthologies, and a regular reviewer for various newspapers and journals, including the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. He is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Owen Robinson is Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Essex. He is the author of several articles on the novels of William Faulkner, and is editing A Routledge Guide to Light in August. He is currently working on writing centred on New Orleans, and on reader-writer relations in African American literature.

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Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors.

List of Plates.

Part I: Introduction.

1. Writing Southern Cultures: Richard Gray (University of Essex).

Part II: Themes and Issues.

2. The First Southerners: Jamestown’s Colonists as Exemplary Figures: Mary C. Fuller (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

3. Slave Narratives: Jerry Phillips (University of Connecticut).

4. Plantation Fiction: John M. Grammer (University of the South, in Sewanee).

5. The Slavery Debate: Susan-Mary Grant (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne).

6. Southern Writers and the Civil War: Susan-Mary Grant (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne).

7. Visualizing the Poor White: Stuart Kidd (University of Reading).

8. Southern Appalachia: Linda Tate (Shepherd College).

9. The Southern Literary Renaissance: Robert J. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (the University of Arkansas).

10. The Native-American South: Mick Gidley (University of Leeds) and Ben Gidley (Goldsmiths College, University of London).

11. Southern Music: John White (University of Hull).

12. Country Music: Barbara Ching (University of Memphis).

13. The Civil Rights Debate: Richard H. King (Nottingham University).

14. Southern Religion(s): Charles Reagan Wilson (University of Mississippi).

15. African-American Fiction and Poetry: R. J. Ellis (Nottingham Trent University).

16. Southern Drama: Mark Zelinsky (Saint Joseph College) and Amy Cuomo (State University of West Georgia).

17. Sports in the South: Diane Roberts (University of Alabama).

18. The South Through Other Eyes: Helen Taylor (University of Exeter).

19. The South in Popular Culture: Allison Graham (University of Memphis).

Part III: Individuals and Movements.

20. Edgar Allan Poe: Henry Claridge (University of Kent).

21. Southwestern Humor: John M. Grammar (University of the South, in Sewanee).

22. Mark Twain: Peter Stoneley (Queen’s University, Belfast).

23. Ellen Glasgow: Julius Rowan Raper (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

24. Fugitives and Agrarians: Andrew Hook (University of Glasgow).

25. William Faulkner: Richard Godden (University of Sussex).

26. Literature of the African-American Great Migration: Kate Fullbrook (deceased).

27. Zora Neale Hurston: Will Brantley (Middle Tennessee State University).

28. Flannery O’Connor: Susan Castillo (King’s College, London).

29. Eudora Welty: Jan Nordby Gretlund (University of Southern Denmark).

30. Oral Culture and Southern Fiction: Jill Terry (University College Worcester).

31. Recent and Contemporary Women Writers in the South: Sharon Monteith (Nottingham University).

32. The South in Contemporary African-American Fiction: A. Robert Lee (Nihon University, Tokyo).

33. Writing in the South Now: Matthew Guinn (University of Alabama at Birmingham).

Part IV: Afterword.

34. Searching for Southern Identity: James C. Cobb (University of Georgia).


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