The Companion to Southern Literature - Cover
Goodreads Icon

The Companion to Southern Literature

Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs

Southern Literary Studies

1054 pages / 8.00 x 10.00 inches / no illustrations


  Hardcover / 9780807126929 / November 2001

There are many competing anthologies of southern literature, but this is the first companion. Neither a survey of masterpieces nor a biographical sourcebook, The Companion to Southern Literature treats every conceivable topic found in southern writing from the pre- Columbian era to the present, referencing specific works of all periods and genres.

Read its copious offerings straight through in alphabetical order (Ancestor Worship, Blue-Collar Literature, Caves) or skip randomly at whim (Guilt, The Grotesque, William Jefferson Clinton). Whatever approach you take, The Companion’s authority, scope, and variety in tone and interpretation will prove a boon and a delight. Explored here are literary embodiments of the Old South, New South, Solid South, Savage South, Lazy South, and “Sahara of the Bozart.” As up-to-date as grit lit, K Mart fiction, and postmodernism, and as old-fashioned as Puritanism, mules, and the tall tale, these five hundred entries span a reach from Lady to Lesbian Literature.

The volume includes an overview of every southern state’s belletristic heritage while making it clear that the southern mind extends beyond geographical boundaries to form an essential component of the American psyche. The South’s incredibly rich literature provides the best means of understanding the region’s deepest nature, and The Companion to Southern Literature will be an invaluable tool for those who take on that exciting challenge.

Description of Contents

• 500 lively, succinct articles on topics ranging from Abolition to Yoknapatawpha
• 250 contributors, including scholars, writers, and poets
• 2 tables of contents — alphabetical and subject — and a complete index
• A separate bibliography for most entries

Joseph M. Flora is Atlanta Professor of Southern Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of many books, including The Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs and the original Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary.

Amber Vogel is director of the DESTINY Traveling Science Learning Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A Californian by birth, she has lived in the South since a teenager and has been engaged in the region's culture and literature as an editor and educator for more than twenty years.

A native North Carolinian, Bryan Giemza is a visiting assistant professor of English at Wake Forest University.

Lucinda H. Mackethan received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a professor of English at North Carolina State University.

Found an Error? Tell us about it.