Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader

Overview


Drawing on storytelling traditions as old as southern literature itself, Grit Lit is the first anthology devoted to contemporary writing about the Rough South. From literary legends to emerging voices, the acclaimed writers featured in this collection view their hardscrabble South without romanticism or false nostalgia, not through moonlight and magnolia but moonshine and Marlboros.
This is the dirty South as captured by those rooted in its land yet able to share its stories ...
See more details below
Paperback
$19.10
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$24.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $10.96   
  • New (10) from $15.71   
  • Used (8) from $10.96   
Sending request ...

Overview


Drawing on storytelling traditions as old as southern literature itself, Grit Lit is the first anthology devoted to contemporary writing about the Rough South. From literary legends to emerging voices, the acclaimed writers featured in this collection view their hardscrabble South without romanticism or false nostalgia, not through moonlight and magnolia but moonshine and Marlboros.
This is the dirty South as captured by those rooted in its land yet able to share its stories with candor and courage. Grit Lit guides readers through tales both tall and true, intoxicating stories of loss, violence, failure, feuds, family, and--above all--survival against the odds. Raw and raucous, Grit Lit gathers some of the most provocative writing to come out of the South in the last thirty years. With a preface by Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin and Brian Carpenter's introduction to the genre's origins and influences, this bold anthology lays bare the Rough South in all its battered glory and dares readers not to stare in awe.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York Times best-seller Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) and freelancer Carpenter anthologize here for the first time Grit Lit—bleak, violent, and sometimes blackly funny stories of "poor southern white" folks—in an attempt to "refocus the attention back where it belongs—on the writing itself rather than on the alleged exploits of the contributors." Featured here are Rough South mainstays such as Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, and Barry Hannah, as well as some lesser-known writers like Anne Pancake and newcomer Alex Taylor, whose coal thieves Luke and Ransom epitomize the region's best literature, worst poverty, and hyperbolic atmospheres of violence and love. Though not every story is the cream of the authors' crops—some of William Gay's best work, for example, has already been anthologized in the New Stories from the South series—these selections do reveal the genre's breadth, from realism to postmodernism, from Southern gothic to country noir. Each of the six memoir selections and 22 short fiction pieces (several of which are novel excerpts) are introduced with a précis, short bio, and a revealing quote from the author. Students, teachers, and Rough South devotees will also find helpful the critical and recommended reading, viewing, and listening sections hunkered in the back of the book. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"While the focus of the collection is on the "rough south," there is a great range and diversity of styles and subject matter in the memoirs and stories. Overall, you get a sense of the richness and diversity of contemporary Southern writing."

- Robert Morgan, BookPage

"New York Times best-seller Franklin and freelancer Carpenter anthologize here for the first time Grit Lit--bleak, violent, and sometimes blackly funny stories of 'poor southern white' folks--in an attempt to 'refocus the attention back where it belongs--on the writing itself rather than on the alleged exploits of the contributors.' Featured here are Rough South mainstays such as Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, and Barry Hannah, as well as some lesser-known writers like Anne Pancake and newcomer Alex Taylor. . . . These selections do reveal the genre's breadth, from realism to postmodernism, from Southern gothic to country noir. . . . Students, teachers, and Rough South devotees will also find helpful the critical and recommended reading, viewing, and listening sections hunkered in the back of the book."

--Publishers Weekly

"Hats off to the editors and publisher who 'birthed' this amazing and needed anthology representing the best of a provocative subsegment of southern American literature. . . . There is lots of beer drinkin', fast drivin', and cussin' going on in these pieces by such rousing bright lights in the southern firmament as Dorothy Allison, Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, and William Gay. The book is inaugurated on the highest plateau with the late Harry Crews' opening segment, 'A Childhood: The Biography of a Place,' one of the best father remembrances you'll ever read. . . . The lifestyles and lives all of these authors write about may not be sweet, but the ring of quality throughout the book is certainly sweet to the ear."

--Booklist (starred review)

"There may be too many good manners and cupcakes, too much prissibility, in what is fashionably called 'Southern Literature.' Here in Grit Lit you'll find some needed and necessary cutting to the bone, some ass kicking, drooling, yelling, and shooting up the house and refrigerator, some use of tools from a toolshed, not a toolbar. Some hurt and love. And some delicate, precision writing by talented women and men writers, including those we've lost too soon: McLaurin, Brown, and now Gay, Hannah, Crews, and Nordan. The whole world needs this book, its daring and direct stare, its treasures."--Clyde Edgerton

"Bravo! As an enthusiast of literature of the 'Rough South,' I am thrilled to see this latest recognition in an extraordinary reader. Tom Franklin's thorough definition of the term grit helps readers like me to accept the term that even Larry Brown found offensive as applied to his work and himself. Brian Carpenter's introduction to the collection is complete--eminently informative and sensitively written. I also applaud the broad range of writers included in the volume. When I teach 'Writers of the Rough South' again, this outstanding reader will be part of the class materials. The general enthusiast of literature of the South, too, will relish its content."--Jean W. Cash, author of Larry Brown: A Writer's Life

Library Journal
Freelance writer Carpenter and novelist Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) share an interest in what they call "the Rough South," where there's no faux nostalgia, flowery language, or elites. Their anthology of fiction and memoir focuses on the violence and hardships that come with poverty, hard use, and neglect—as portrayed by white authors. The editors ignore a significant share of the South's population by including only three women and no blacks, thus imparting a restricted view of the region. The works included—either excerpts from larger works or complete short pieces—come from the last 30 years and include well-known regional writers (e.g., Harry Crews, Barry Hannah), best-selling authors (e.g., Lee Smith, Dorothy Allison, Rick Bragg), and emerging writers (e.g., Alex Taylor, Ann Pancake). Each selection has an introduction written by the editors, and sometimes brief interviews with the author. The pieces by Dorothy Allison and Lewis Nordan (memoir and fiction, respectively) and the short stories by Breece D'J Pancake and Tim Gautreaux are the book's highlights. VERDICT This may appeal to readers who like this subgenre, but it will be of minimal interest beyond that.—Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611170832
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 554,400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


A graduate of Centre College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brian Carpenter is a freelance writer and editor. His articles on the South have appeared in Southern Cultures, Southern Literary Journal, Southern Review, The Companion to Southern Literature, and the anthology Cornbread Nation 1: The Best Southern Food Writing.

A native of Dickinson, Alabama, Tom Franklin is the Edgar Award-winning author of Poachers, Hell at the Breech, Smonk, and the New York Times best seller Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Franklin teaches creative writing at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: What's Grit Lit? Tom Franklin vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Blood and Bone Brian Carpenter xiii

Memoies

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place Harry Crews 3

"Deciding to Live" Dorothy Allison 16

On Fire: A Personal Account of Life and Death and Choices Larry Brown 23

Keeper of the Moon: A Southern Boyhood Tim McLaurin 34

Ava's Man and All Over but the Shoutin' Rick Bragg 46

"A Body in the River" Lewis Nordan 56

Fiction

A Feast of Snakes Harry Crews 65

"Ride, Fly, Penetrate, Loiter" Barry Hannah 83

"The Scrapper" Breece D'J Pancake 89

"Samaritans" Larry Brown 101

The Acorn Plan Tim McLaurin 110

"River of Names" Dorothy Allison 125

"Pit" Pinckney Benedict 134

The Sharpshooter Blues Lewis Nordan 145

"Your Daddy in Time" Jim Grimsley 163

"Melungeons" Chris Offutt 169

"Jacksonville" George Singleton 179

"What It Cost Travelers" Dale Ray Phillips 190

Saving Grace Lee Smith 208

"Sleepy Gap" Robert Morgan 222

"Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You?" William Gay 232

"Kindred Spirits" Brad Watson 246

"Sorry Blood" Tim Gautreaux 263

Winters Bone Daniel Woodrell 277

"Speckled Trout" Ron Rash 283

"Atlas Towing" Will Allison 298

"Redneck Boys" Ann Pancake 313

"The Coal Thief" Alex Taylor 322

Notes 339

References and Supplemental Materials 349

Index 357

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)