Southern Literature

Jim Grimsley was an 11-year-old boy growing up in Jones County, North Carolina, when the first black children enrolled in his all-white school.

It was more than 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education and Grimsley’s whole world was about to change. Grimsley gets into this in his new memoir, in which he describes the racist environment in which he was raised and how he began to rethink his assumptions.

Author Wiley Cash smiling outside
photo by Tiffany B. Davis

Wiley Cash's latest novel, "This Dark Road to Mercy," is set in his hometown  of Gastonia, N.C. 

In 1960, Elizabeth Spencer became a southern literary icon with the release of her novella, "The Light in the Piazza." The film version of the book starred Olivia de Havilland.

More than fifty years after her acclaimed Italian love story, Spencer is still writing.  Her newest collection of short stories is "Starting Over" (Liveright, 2013).

All of the narratives in the book stem from her two southern homes: Mississippi and North Carolina.

Algonquin Books


William Faulkner may be one of the most well-known writers of the 20th century. But you might not associate his name with southern literature if not for Louis Rubin

Rubin helped develop the genre of southern literature in its own right. A well-respected writer, an adored teacher and the founder of the Southern Literary Journal and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Rubin is regarded as one of the icons of southern writing.