12 Overlooked Novels with Southern Roots
I love living in New York, but sometimes I need a little fix of Southern comfort. Books are cheaper than airfare, and there is no shortage of nationally acclaimed literature from the South. Of course y’all have all heard of the classics—GONE WITH THE WIND, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, UNCLE TOM’S CABIN, or BELOVED—but the well of amazing and provocative Southern novels runs much deeper. So go pour yourself an ice cold sweet tea, sit back in your rocker, and crack open one of these lesser known novels set below the Mason Dixon line.
The Waverley women are a curiosity in their small North Carolina town; as rumor has it, an apple tree imbued with special powers grows in their family garden. But the lives of these women are turned upside down when Sydney Waverly returns home with a young daughter after abandoning her family years ago.
5Where All Light Tends to Go
After reuniting with his childhood sweetheart, Jacob NcNeely is desperate to escape his dead-end life and his cruel father in Cashiers, North Carolina. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to leave.
6Work Like Any Other
A starkly beautiful and morally complicated novel set in 1920s rural Alabama, WORK LIKE ANY OTHER is the story of Roscoe T Martin, a prideful electrician sent to prison after his illegal siphoning of the state’s electrical power to use on a family farm leads to an innocent man’s death.
In a Post-Katrina Mississippi, a 14-year-old boy is sent to live with his grandmother after having a meltdown during a national quiz contest and becoming an overnight YouTube sensation. Before leaving, Citoyen Coldson is given a strange book about time traveling that may hold the key to the disappearance of a young girl in his grandmother’s town.
10Guests on Earth
A captivating novel of art and madness, GUESTS ON EARTH seamlessly blends fact and fiction to tell the story of an orphaned 13-year-old girl who is admitted to a mental institution in Asheville, North Carolina in 1936 where she is taken under the wing of legendary patient Zelda Fitzgerald.
From a long line of outlaws on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, Clayton Burroughs takes a job as sheriff to distance himself from his family reputation. But when a federal agent shows up to shut down the mountain, a hidden agenda pits brother against brother and could lead Clayton down a dark path of self-destruction.