A History of the Literature of the U.S. South provides scholars with a dynamic and heterogeneous examination of southern writing from John Smith to Natasha Trethewey. Eschewing a master narrative limited to predictable authors and titles, the anthology adopts a variegated approach that emphasizes the cultural and political tensions crucial to the making of this regional literature. Certain chapters focus on major white writers (e.g., Thomas Jefferson, William Faulkner, the Agrarians, Cormac McCarthy), but a substantial portion of the work foregrounds the achievements of African American writers like Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, and Sarah Wright to address the multiracial and transnational dimensions of this literary formation. Theoretically informed and historically aware, the volume's contributors collectively demonstrate how southern literature constitutes an aesthetic, cultural and political field that richly repays examination from a variety of critical perspectives.
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