What are the best Southern novels according to Oxford American?

asked by Anonymous
135 contributors
12 solutions
  1. 24

    #1To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.

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    Mark Welch
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "To Kill a Mockingbird was a required read back in my high school days. I thought I'd give it another go since Harper Lee's passing. I found it even better that the first time I read it."
  2. 16

    #2Wicked Temper

    Wicked Temper
    Tizzy Polk and her boyfriend Matthew are two teens who love to be on their own, living with no worries and doing as they please. But everything will change when they find out a bewitched mountain known as Riddle Top, whose magic they can't yet control...

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    Ai Gong
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This novel was very interesting, I often felt as if I was one of the characters, and was in their shoes. I lost track of time while reading because I got very immersed into the story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoy southern novels."
  3. 15

    #3Native Son

    Native Son

    Native Son is an African American historical fiction book written by Richard Wright. This classic book is first published in 1940 and reproduced by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 


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    Patricia Bradley
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Native Son is a chilling look at how life was in America in the 1930's. However, I don't think it can be a "southern novel" if it was set in Chicago, Illinois. However, it does take you through the trials and tribulations of a young black male who kills a white woman and how race plays into all the craziness of the times."
  1. 13

    #4Light in August

    Light in August

    Light in August by William Faulkner tells the story of different characters: Lena Grove searching for the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower being haunted by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas who is caught up by his mixed ancestry.


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    Hannah Anderson
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Light in August is a great Southern novels according to Oxford American "
  2. 11



    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.


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    Raquel Aguilar
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This just really doesn't sound like my taste of books at all. I see a lot of people like it, just doesn't seem to be me."
  3. 10

    #6Invisible Man

    Invisible Man

    This book narrates the life of a nameless black man living in the US, how hard it was for him to grow up in a racist town in the South, and how he eventually became leader of the community in New York.


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    Alice Evans
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "This book is about a journey of self-discovery for a black man living in America in the 1920s to 1940s. It tackles the controversial topics of racism, segregation, and prejudice very well and certainly makes you think. It's poignant, moving and hits you hard. This is a book you'll be thinking about for months if not years to come."
  4. 8

    #7Cold 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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    Joseph Henry
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "A modern classic, just a terrific read. Deep. beautiful, and terrible - sometimes all at once. I'd heard good things about this book so I had high expectations and I was still very impressed. So glad I took the time to give this a go."
  5. 7

    #8A 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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    Cheshta Rao
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "It is uplifting to find a writer who captures the madness so perfectly. I loved reading this book."
  6. 7

    #9As 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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    Jorge Torres
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Many people do not like Faulkner. I find him to be brilliant. This is arguably his finest work ans considered by most to be as such."
  7. 5

    #10The 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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    Nicholas Beck
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the best Southern novels according to Oxford American"
  8. 4

    #11All 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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    May Huang
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "All the King's Men is a great read about the corruption of a politician. The story of Willie Stark does a great job teaching us the consequences of our actions and and the rewards for honesty. "
  9. 3

    #12Bastard Out of Carolina

    Bastard Out of Carolina

    Bastard Out of Carolina is a coming of age novel written by Dorothy Allison which centers on Ruth Anna Boatwright who lives a happy life with her mother, aunt, and little sister Reece, but soon they live with Glen Waddell that change her life. 


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    Phillip Brown
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Having seen the movie, I wanted to finally read the source material. Bastard Out of Carolina is one of those comfortable books: You draw a bath, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy reading about someone else's misery, which, considering it's the South, there's so much to draw from. After reading this, it made me really wish I had a daughter to lavish love upon."


Best What are the best Southern novels according to Oxford American
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 24 Paid
2Wicked TemperBooks 16 Paid
3Native SonBooks 15 Paid
4Light in AugustBooks 13 Paid
5BelovedBooks 11 Paid
6Invisible ManBooks 10 Paid
7Cold MountainBooks 8 Paid
8A Confederacy of DuncesBooks 7 Paid
9As I Lay DyingBooks 7 Paid
10The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnBooks 5 Free

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