What are the best of Southern literature?

asked by Anonymous
388 contributors
29 solutions
  1. 38

    #1The Color Purple

    The Color Purple
    Set deep in the American South, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. After living a very hard life, she starts to discover joy and the power of her own spirit.
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    Ralph Riley
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "I know this book was an instant classic but it's just not for me. The subject matter is definitely not my cup of tea, so don't take my word for it!"
  2. 35

    #2A Confederacy of Dunces

    A Confederacy of Dunces
    A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece by John Kennedy Toole's, The hero, Ignatius J. Reilly is a huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, latter-day Gargantua, and Don Quixote of the French Quarter.
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    Brenda Reynolds
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "There is nothing to suggest that A Confederacy of Dunces is the best southern literature, or if it is even southern literature, or if the author is a southern lit author. On the Amazon page, there isn't much information on the book other than ratings, reviews, and a short description detailing the fact that the book is a Pulitzer Prize winning book."
  3. 32

    #3Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg has a folksy, fresh, endearing and affecting story. Written by one of the fairest and funniest ladies in America, it tells a contrasting, yet enthralling tale of humor and drama.

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    Tina Zhang
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "What a funny book this was. I can say that. I'm from the south and can laugh at the idiosyncrasies of my clan. Fannie sure has a sense of humor and if you looking for an enjoyable afternoon read, Fannie's your gal. "
  1. 31

    #4The Help

    The Help
    The Help is a historical fiction novel by Kathryn Stockett. Set in the American South during the 1960s, it tells the stories of an unlikely group of three women working together to fight racial oppression.
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    Jordan Hoffman
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "If you're looking for a book that explores race relations during the 60's in the deep south I can highly recommend this book. The Help explores the relationship between a black helper and her white boss. The read can be shocking for those who are not aware of the rampant racism and behavior of people in that era."
  2. 30

    #5Gone with the Wind

    Gone with the Wind
    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is a bestselling novel of all time and won the Pulitzer Prize. Widely considered The Great American Novel, it explores the depth of human passion with an intensity as bold as its setting.
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    Matthew Henderson
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Gone with the Wind is a classic, powerful story that is considered a Great American Novel for a reason. It can be difficult to get through at over 1000 pages, but it can also be a real page turner. It occurs in the southern state of Georgia and contains vivid locations and characters, and a powerful narrative."
  3. 27

    #6The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel by Mark Twain. Published in 1884, it tells the story of a naughty boy settled in the Mississippi Valley. Full of humor it's also considered a deep and complex work.
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    Reyansh Pillai
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the greatest books of Mark Twain. I think everyone should read this classic book. It is not just a masterpiece of Southern literature but all of the literature."
  4. 25

    #7Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a mystery novel written by John Berendt. This true crime non-fiction book is published in 1999 by Vintage. 

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    Martha Hunt
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Gothic and broody, Berendt's masterpiece ticks all the boxes for a true-crime wonder. I learned so much about this case that I never knew and I am stunned by the reality of the brutality. It would make a great movie, though I did love putting my own imagination into reading this. I wish I could read it again for the first time. "
  5. 23

    #8The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd depicts loss and betrayal. This book was a New York Times bestseller and has won the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. In 2008, this novel was turned into a movie.

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  6. 21

    #9Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most important and enduring books of the 20th century. It brings to life a Southern love story with incredible wit and pathos.

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    Jesse Perkins
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "If one is looking for the best of Southern literature, then look no further than Zora Neale Hurston's classic, " Their Eyes Were Watching God". I have now read this book several times and I would highly recommend the book to even the most casual reader. This book really shows what it was like to live in the South as an African American woman when discrimination was much more prevalent. I found that I had to periodically take breaks from reading the books as I was so overwhelmed with the experiences that the main character had to suffer through. I still carry this book in my heart with me as it was so powerful and emotional."
  7. 19

    #10A Streetcar Named Desire

    A Streetcar Named Desire

    A Streetcar Named Desire is Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer-winning play about Blanche DuBois and her attempt to have a normal life while living with her sister Stella and her abusive husband Stanley Kowalski.                                                     

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    Navya Jindal
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Southern woman is always devoting"
  8. 16

    #11Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner is published in 1936. This book tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, a man who finds wealth and marries in order to have children to be his heir someday. 

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    Christian Thomas
    Written on March 29, 2018
    "a very good and entertaining read"
  9. 15

    #12All the King's Men

    All the King's Men
    The political novel All the King's Men follows the life of Willie Stark, a demagogue and politician. It chronicles his beginnings as a genuine ally of the people and his subsequent corruption because of greed for power.
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    Louis Hawkins
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "First and foremost: The Kindle edition of All The King's Men is not the extended version edited by Noel Polk. If you've never read All The King's Men this is good news. If you've read it once or several times, it's still good news. This is the originally published version from 1946 - not the version that renames Willie Stark as Willie Talos. Okay, if I could take two books with me to a desert island, the first book would be All The King's Men. The second book would also be All The King's Men, in case I lost the first book. I think it's that good, but that's just my opinion and it doesn't count for much. Some people hate it; they say it's long and that it rambles and waxes poetic and has lots of philosophy in it. They're right. Some people love it for the same reasons. But there is this about it: It is full to the brim and overflowing with life. It tells a fictional story of people that lived over 75 years ago - and it could just as well be talking about people that are alive today. You will find yourself in this book and you will know yourself better if you finish it. What more can you ask?"
  10. 12

    #13A Time to Kill

    A Time to Kill

    Carl Lee Hailey shoots to the hoodlums that raped his ten-year-old daughter, but the people of Clanton see it as a crime of blood. But the extremists outside Clanton heard a black man has killed two whites, they invade the town determined to destroy everything. 

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    Nicholas Dixon
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "I really enjoyed this story. It has a lot of great historical detail and the plot kept me guessing the entire time!"
  11. 10

    #14The Notebook

    The Notebook

    The Notebook is a romance novel written by Nicholas Sparks published in 1996 which is about the love story of mill worker Noah Calhoun and rich girl Allie. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 2004. 

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    Olivia Davidson
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is an example of the best of Southern literature. It is a passionate love story that endures the test of time and age. I love the move and I love the book even more. This story really pulls you into the world of Noah and Allie. This is one of my very favorite books."
  12. 9

    #15Cold Mountain

    Cold Mountain
    Cold Mountain is a book by Charles Frazier that tells the story of Inman, a soldier who will come back to his home in the Blueridge mountains and to his most loved woman Ada.  
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    Philip Gardner
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Southern literature is a dry genre and this one seems like it is no different. A hard pass."
  13. 6

    #16The Awakening

    The Awakening

    Rebecca Hall is always a quality guarantee. The talented British actress leads the cast of this horror movie set in the England of the early 20s. Child ghost and a boarding school: get ready for a terrifying time.

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    Howard Hunter
    Written on April 1, 2018
    "a really decent horror movie but it's not based on the book of the same name "
  14. 6

    #17Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (The Ya-Ya Series)

    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (The Ya-Ya Series)

    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a novel by Rebecca Wells. It tells the story of mother and daughter duo, Vivi and Siddalee Walker as they try to find a way to forgive each other. It is the first book in the Ya-Yas series. 

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    Patricia Sierra
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "This is a book about womanhood but at large about humanity. Every single character is so realistically flawed and yet understandable. I love books that teach me something or make me understand something I thought inconceivable. This book told me of friendship, of addiction, child abuse, racism, Louisiana, discrimination, the 50s. It made me laugh and it made me cry, often at the same time. I found myself moved page after page."
  15. 3

    #18The Prince of Tides

    The Prince of Tides

    The Prince of Tides is a Southern contemporary romance fiction novel written by Pat Conroy. This was originally published in 1986. This book narrates the story of Tom Wingo and his twin sister as they face tragedies.

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    Lori Roberts
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Southern dramas are interesting. Interesting as some of the locations are familiar."
  16. 1

    #19As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner tells the story of Addie Bundren and her family and her wish to be buried in Mississippi, her hometown. This novel is narrated in the perspectives of many characters including when Addie is still alive. 

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    Dorothy Ramos
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Set in the Mississippi countryside, As I Lay Dying tells the tale of a family setting out to bury their wife and mother. William Faulkner is one of the best storytellers of the modern era for stories just like this. The characters - deep and complex, each with their own personality and flaws - make up the heart of this story. As I Lay Dying is a beautiful classic!"
  17. 0

    #20The Awakening

    The Awakening

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin was first published in 1899, and at the time shocked the readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. The novel is also still widely admired today for its literary qualities.

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    Alexander Ferguson
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "this is a great book and it comes from the south so that makes it even better"
  18. 0

    #21Standing in the Rainbow

    Standing in the Rainbow

    Standing in the Rainbow by beloved bestselling author Fannie Flagg is a story of richly human characters. It's the saving graces of the once-maligned middle classes and small-town life, featuring a daily contest between laughter and tears.

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    Olivia Quintero
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "I wanted the best of Southern literature and found out about Standing in the Rainbow. The book is by Fannie Flagg and is about normal life and its struggles."
  19. 0

    #22The Secret to Hummingbird Cake

    The Secret to Hummingbird Cake

    The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale is thick with southern Louisiana charm. It's a story of love, friendship and learning to hold on even when life is hard, but also of letting go.

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    Josefina Vázquez
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "I wanted the best of Southern Literature. I learned about The Secret to Hummingbird Cake, a book written by Celeste Fletcher McHale. The book has a lot of southern Louisiana charm to it."
  20. 0

    #23The Dry Grass of August

    The Dry Grass of August

    The Dry Grass of August is a historical fiction novel written by Anna Jean Mayhew which centers on 13-year-old Jubie Watts whose mind was opened to a whole new world about her family's black maid named Mary Luther as they travel to Florida.

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    Jeremy Weber
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "If you're into books about race relations back in the day and how some were treated, this is a good book. I enjoyed it."
  21. 0

    #24A Land More Kind Than Home

    A Land More Kind Than Home

    A Land More Kind Than Home is a Southern mystery fiction book written by New York Times best-selling author Wiley Cash. It is first published in 2012. 

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    Donald Delgado
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This is a gripping story and there are several aspects of the South that serve to bring the reader in. The main characters are two brothers, their mother who is part of a Pentecostal church, and the church's pastor. One of the brothers sees that the church is evil and tries to save others from it. The technique of telling the story through the points of view of the characters is a great idea that brings the reader deep into the story. "
  22. 0

    #25A Redbird Christmas

    A Redbird Christmas

    A Redbird Christmas is another New York Times bestselling novel by Fannie Flagg. It's a new Yuletide classic about small-town America and larger-than-life wonders, with a magical "redbird" moment.

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    Aradhya Gupta
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "I tried to get into this but its literally one of the worst books I've ever read. The prose is absolutely terrible and I just couldn't get into it."
  23. 0

    #26Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

    Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
    Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by bestselling author Fannie Flagg combines Southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity. It takes readers back to Elmwood Springs for the most unlikely and surprising experiences.
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    Bob Sun
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "The concept of this book was amazing from beginning to end. I found myself thinking about the here and now and how I must enjoy my life right now. Accidents, death, and etc. are all inevitable so tell your love ones that you love them now while you can. Heaven is right here with your love ones and the people who make an impact on your life. "
  24. 0

    #27Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!

    Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
    Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by New York Times-bestselling author Fannie Flagg is a funny, serious and compelling novel. The heroine, Dena Nordstrom is a smart, beautiful and ambitious 1970s rising star, with a future full of promises.
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    Joyce Roberts
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "This is a funky story that's not like your typical southern lit doom and gloom story. I like the more modern setting and the idea of famous southerners, which isn't common in southern lit I think."
  25. 0

    #28Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

    Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

    Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is bestselling author Fannie Flagg's high-spirited first novel. It takes readers through sassy and irreverent Daisy Fay Harper's formative years on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

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    Amanda Hunter
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "This book is set in the south, Mississippi to be exact. The time period for the book is in the 1950's and accurately depicts what life was like during that time. The book is highly rated with several reviews. The book highlights southern humor to southern comfort. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars, because the book didn't get 100% great reviews. There were some verified purchasers that didn't like the book. "
  26. 0

    #29Intruder in the Dust

    Intruder in the Dust
    Intruder in the Dust is a coming-of-age novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1948. Set deep in the American south, it tells the story of a black farmer who gets mistakenly accused of murdering a white man.
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    Debra Curtis
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "To read Faulkner telling this simple tale is to experience life and conflict in a small southern town as if it were unreeling before your eyes in Technicolor and surround sound. Faulkner is not an "easy" nor a` "casual" read but his illustrates the difference between ordinary pulp and true literature. His work has stood and will continue to stand the test of time."

Summary

Best What are the best of Southern literature
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Color PurpleBooks 38 Paid
2A Confederacy of DuncesBooks 35 Paid
3Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafeBooks 32 Paid
4The HelpBooks 31 Paid
5Gone with the Wind Books 30 Paid
6The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnBooks 27 Free
7Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilBooks 25 Paid
8The Secret Life of BeesBooks 23 Paid
9Their Eyes Were Watching GodBooks 21 Paid
10A Streetcar Named DesireBooks 19 Paid
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