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The Oxford Book of the American South: Testimony, Memory, and Fiction

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The Oxford Book of the American South: Testimony, Memory, and Fiction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Oxford Book of the American South resonates with the words of black people and white, women and men, the powerless as well as the powerful. The collection presents the most telling fiction and nonfiction produced in the South from the late eighteenth century to the present. Renowned authors such as James Agee, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Lee Smith, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor appear in these pages, but so do people whose writing did not immediately reach a large audience. For example, Harriet A. Jacobs' book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, which is now recognized as one of the most illuminating narratives of a former slave, was neglected for generations. And Sarah Morgan's powerful Civil War Diary has only recently come to widespread attention. The Oxford Book of the American South presents compelling autobiographies, diaries, memoirs, and journalism as well as stories and selections from novels, and runs the spectrum from the conservative to the radical, the traditional to the innovative. Editors Edward L. Ayers and Bradley C. Mittendorf have arranged these diverse readings so that they fit together into a rich mosaic of Southern life and history. The sections of the book The Old South, The Civil War and Its Consequences, Hard Times, and The Turning unfold a vivid record of life below the Mason Dixon line. We see the antebellum period both from the perspective of those who experienced it first-hand, such as Thomas Jefferson and former slaves Olaudah Equiano and Frederick Douglass, and then from the perspective of authors looking back on that era, including William Styron and Sherley Anne Williams. Likewise, we see the Civil War through the eyes of witnesses such as Sam Watkins, through the eyes of later writers trying to make sense of the conflict, such as Robert Penn Warren, and through the eyes of those using the war's intense passions to fuel their fiction, such as Margaret Mitchell and Barry Hannah. The classic authors of the Southern Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s appear here in the context of the hard times in which they wrote. The years since World War II are chronicled in the powerful words of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," George Garrett's "Good bye, Good bye, Be Always Kind and True," and Peter Taylor's "The Decline and Fall of the Episcopal Church, in the Year of Our Lord 1952." The editors have selected these readings, their Preface tells us, to convey "the passions that have surfaced time and again in more than two hundred years of Southern writing." Indeed, the struggles, defeats, and triumphs chronicled in The Oxford Book of the American South speak not just to the South, but to all of the American experience. They document and evoke some of the most dramatic episodes in the nation's life

Synopsis:

Resonating with the testimony of slaves and slaveholders, the powerful and the powerless, women and men, black people and white, The Oxford Book of the American South combines the most telling fiction and nonfiction produced in the South from the late eighteenth century to the present. The first anthology to put short stories, novels, autobiographies, diaries, memoirs, and journalism together, this collection is a rich and varied record of life below the Mason-Dixon line.

We see the antebellum period both from the perspective of those who experienced it first-hand, such as Thomas Jefferson and Harriet Jacobs, as well as from authors who imagined the era later, including William Styron and Sherley Anne Williams. Likewise, we see the Civil War through eyewitness accounts such as Sarah Morgan's, later writers' analyses such as W.E.B. Du Bois's, and war-inspired fiction such as Margaret Mitchell's. Classic authors of the 1920s and '30s Southern Renaissance are followed by figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., George Garrett, and Peter Taylor, whose works capture the dramatic years of the Civil Rights movement. The struggles, defeats, and triumphs chronicled in The Oxford Book of the American South speak not just to the South, but to all of the American experience.

About the Author

Edward L. Ayers teaches the history and culture of the American South at the University of Virginia. He is the author of the prize-winning The Promise of the New South.

Bradley C. Mittendorf is a writer and political consultant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195124934
Editor:
Ayers, Edward L.
Editor:
Mittendorf, Bradley C.
Editor:
Ayers, Edward L.
Editor:
Mittendorf, Bradley
Author:
null, Bradley C.
Author:
Ayers, Edward L.
Author:
Bradley C. Mittendorf
Author:
null, Edward L.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Location:
New York :
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Literary collections
Subject:
History, American | Southern
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
19981231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 halftones
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.3 x 1.3 in 1.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Oxford Anthologies
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » US History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Oxford Book of the American South: Testimony, Memory, and Fiction New Trade Paper
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$32.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195124934 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Resonating with the testimony of slaves and slaveholders, the powerful and the powerless, women and men, black people and white, The Oxford Book of the American South combines the most telling fiction and nonfiction produced in the South from the late eighteenth century to the present. The first anthology to put short stories, novels, autobiographies, diaries, memoirs, and journalism together, this collection is a rich and varied record of life below the Mason-Dixon line.

We see the antebellum period both from the perspective of those who experienced it first-hand, such as Thomas Jefferson and Harriet Jacobs, as well as from authors who imagined the era later, including William Styron and Sherley Anne Williams. Likewise, we see the Civil War through eyewitness accounts such as Sarah Morgan's, later writers' analyses such as W.E.B. Du Bois's, and war-inspired fiction such as Margaret Mitchell's. Classic authors of the 1920s and '30s Southern Renaissance are followed by figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., George Garrett, and Peter Taylor, whose works capture the dramatic years of the Civil Rights movement. The struggles, defeats, and triumphs chronicled in The Oxford Book of the American South speak not just to the South, but to all of the American experience.

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