Growing Up in the South
An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature
Something about the South has inspired the imaginations of an extraordinary number of America’s best storytellers—and greatest writers. That quality may be a rich, unequivocal sense of place, a living connection with the past, or the contradictions and passions that endow this region with awesome beauty and equally awesome tragedy. The stories in this superb collection of modern Southern writing are about childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood—in other words, about growing up in the South. Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” set in a South that remains segregated even after segregation is declared illegal, is the story of a white college student who chastises his mother for her prejudice against blacks. But black, white, aristocrat, or sharecropper, each of these 23 authors is unmistakably Southern—and their writing is indisputably wonderful.
I. Remembering Southern Places
II. Experiencing Southern Families
III. Negotiating Southern Communities
IV. Challanging Southern Traditions
“A Sudden Trip Home in the Spring”
by Alice Walker
The award-winning author of The Color Purple writes a moving story of a gifted young woman back in her Georgia hometown for her father’s funeral … and some finally faced truths.
by William Hoffman
Novelist/playwright Hoffman writes a funny, down-home tale about Grandma Sharp, Uncle Henry (the son who got rich and married a steel magnolia), and the process of getting “saved.”
by Bobbie Ann Mason
When the Cuba, Kentucky, Cubs become state champs, a high school girl’s experience becomes an American Graffiti-like tale … done in pure southern hill-country style.
“Thomas Vincent Sullivan”
by Ernest Gaines
In this excerpt for A Gathering of Old Men, the author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman writes an explosive account of black-white relations when a football hero learns of his brother’s murder.
And 21 other selections evoking southern places and voices, families and communities.
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