Growing Up in the South

Growing Up in the South

Edited by:

Mass Market Paperback
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451528735
  • 544 Pages
  • Signet
  • Adult


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.

Table of Contents

Growing Up in the SouthIntroduction

I. Remembering Southern Places
Elizabeth Spencer, “The Gulf Coast”
Harry Crews, from A Childhood: The Biography of a Place
Eudora Welty, from One Writer’s Beginnings
Bobbie Ann Mason, “State Champions”
Gustavo Pérez Firmat, “Mooning over Miami”
Randall Kenan, “Where Am I Black”

II. Experiencing Southern Families
William Hoffman, “Amazing Grace”
Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”
Lee Smith, “Artists”
Shirley Ann Grau, “Homecoming”
Ellen Gilchrist, “The President of the Louisiana Live Oak Society”
Mary Hood, “How Far She Went”

III. Negotiating Southern Communities
Richard Wright, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”
Flannery O’Connor, “Everything That Rises Must Converge”
Peter Taylor, “The Old Forest”
Gail Godwin, “The Angry Year”
Michael Malone, “Fast Love”
Jill McCorkle, “Carnival Lights”

IV. Challanging Southern Traditions
William Faulkner, “An Odor of Verbena”
Mary Mebane, from Mary
Anne Moody, from Coming of Age in Mississippi
Joan Williams, “Spring Is Now”
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Sin Boldly”
Ernest J. Gaines, “Thomas Vincent Sullivan”