Exploring Southern Authors Worth Reading

Even though you likely have a good understanding of the types of books you enjoy, but one of the great things about literature is the way in which it provides you with the opportunity to try different things – and if you are looking to try different things, the great thing about literature is that large chunks of literature are grouped together into different categories; one of the categories that grew to prominence in the early 1900s with such writers as Mark Twain and Robert Penn Warren – and that reached its zenith in the middle of the 20th century – was Southern fiction, which was characterized by its flowing, poetic prose against a dark and totally honest backdrop.

When you hear the words “Southern fiction,” there are few names that come to mind more quickly than William Faulkner; Faulkner was the anti-Hemingway (in fact he and Hemingway endured a lifelong feud, driven by their work), as he typically went for the large-scale in his prose, rather than the minimalistic style Hemingway preferred, and while both men were drastically different, each of them are still hailed today as two of the greatest men to ever put the pen to paper.

Carson McCullers was one of the most interesting women in Southern fiction; McCullers penned her masterpiece “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” when she was only 23 years old, and although the rest of her career (admirable though it was!) did not quite measure up to her tremendous debut, that first novel of hers left readers with an enduring work that still echoes through minds more than 50 years later.

And there has perhaps been no personality in literature that has been bigger than Truman Capote – but often overshadowed by his great, big personality is the fact that he was also one of the greatest writers of his age. Even with the many books and short stories Capote wrote that still endure today, his crowning work was “In Cold Blood,” which was published over 40 years ago, and which completely changed the nonfiction genre for good.