Harper Lee. Margaret Mitchell. Charles Frazier. They are three of my favorite novelists from the American South whose books are also set in the South. To be categorized as Southern literature, a book doesn’t have to be written by an author from the region (for example, Toni Morrison was from Ohio), though it should be distinctly Southern in terms of historical, geographical, social and cultural context.
In this article, I rounded up 12 of my favorite Southern novels. How does this list compare to yours?
1. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
2. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
3. “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier
4. “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole
5. “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward
6. “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin
7. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers
8. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
9. “True Grit” by Charles Portis
10. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
11. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
12. “Light in August” by William Faulkner
Note: I’ve updated this post, first published on my old blog on May 24, 2014, from a list of 10 to 12 Southern novels.