Top 10 Southern Novels—Do You Agree?

Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of favorite novels of all time.

Harper Lee. Margaret Mitchell. Charles Frazier. They are three of my favorite authors whose books were listed under Flavorwire’s “50 Best Southern Novels Ever Written.” It’s a great list, but the ranking is questionable, not to mention some glaring omissions.

Whether readers like me agree with the selection or not, Flavorwire has succeeded in making us think about —and appreciate anew—the tremendous literary contributions of authors from the American South, as well as great books about the region by non-Southern writers (e.g., Toni Morrison, Jean Toomer). In addition, it made me want to read a number of books on the list I haven’t read yet.

My Top 10

Here’s my own list of top 10 books and their rankings on the Flavorwire list. The Web site snubbed two of my favorite books, which was reason enough for me to create my own list! What do you think of this list?

  1. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (#47)
  2. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell (#26)
  3. “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier (#12)
  4. “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (#14)
  5. “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin (#5)
  6. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers (#28)
  7. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (Not included)
  8. “True Grit” by Charles Portis (Not included)
  9. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison (#7)
  10. “Light in August” by William Faulkner (#35)

Flavorwire’s Top 50

There are some serious William Faulkner fans at Flavorwire. Eight out of the 50 novels listed below were written by Faulkner. See if you agree with this list.

  1. “Absalom, Absalom” by William Faulkner
  2. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  3. “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren
  4. “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner
  5. “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin
  6. “Bastard Out of Carolina” by Dorothy Allison
  7. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
  8. “Big Fish” by Daniel Wallace
  9. “Cane” by Jean Toomer
  10. “Child of God” by Cormac McCarthy
  11. “The Clearing” by Tim Gautreaux
  12. “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier
  13. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
  14. “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole
  15. “The Confessions of Nat Turner” by William Styron
  16. “A Death in the Family” by James Agee
  17. “Deliverance” by James Dickey
  18. “Delta Wedding” by Eudora Welty
  19. “Edisto” by Padgett Powell
  20. “Ellen Foster” by Kaye Gibbons
  21. “Father and Son” by Larry Brown
  22. “A Feast of Snakes” by Harry Crews
  23. “Geronimo Rex” by Barry Hannah
  24. “Go Down, Moses” by William Faulkner
  25. “The Good Lord Bird” by James McBride
  26. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
  27. “The Hamlet” by William Faulkner
  28. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers
  29. “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice
  30. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
  31. “Kate Vaiden” by Reynolds Price
  32. “The Known World” by Edward P. Jones
  33. “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines
  34. “Lie Down in Darkness” by William Styron
  35. “Light in August” by William Faulkner
  36. “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe
  37. “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy
  38. “The Optimist’s Daughter” by Eudora Welty
  39. “Other Voices, Other Rooms” by Truman Capote
  40. “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy
  41. “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward
  42. “Sanctuary” by William Faulkner
  43. “Silver Sparrow” by Tayari Jones
  44. “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner
  45. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
  46. “ A Tidewater Morning” William Styron
  47. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  48. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  49. “The Unvanquished” by William Faulkner
  50. “Wise Blood” by Flannery O’Connor

To read the Flavorwire article by Tyler Coates, click here.