In this insight-studded work that established him as the premier interpreter of southern literary culture, Fred Hobson explores the southern urge toward self-examination, the seeming compulsion of southern writers to discuss their region—some defending it, others damning it. He focuses on fourteen practitioners of the southern genre of regional confession who wrote between 1850 and 1970, showing how they—in many cases linking their own destinies with the fate of the South—produced deeply felt, impassioned books that sought to explain the region to outsiders as well as to fellow southerners, and perhaps most of all to themselves.
Fred Hobson is the author of numerous books in American and southern studies, including Tell About the South: The Southern Rage to Explain and Mencken: A Life. His essays have appeared in many magazines and journals, including the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He is Lineberger Professor in the Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and coeditor of the Southern Literary Journal.
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