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Southern Reading Challenge 2007

The challenge: Read three Southern books. The books must contain a Southern setting by a Southern author. The challenge is hosted by Maggie of Maggie reads. Maggie defined the Southern region with a helpful map (just for me, she told me). Apparently, “south” refers to the south-east (no, not the south) of the U.S. Why Virginia is “South”, and Tenessee even “Deep south”, while southern states like New Mexico and Arizona are not southern at all, will always be beyond me.

The three Southern masterpieces I selected:

  • The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. The most influential Southern novel, maybe even the most influential American novel, ever. Apparently Hemingway claimed that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn”.
  • As I lay dying, by the 1949 Nobel prize winner William Faulkner.
  • To kill a mockingbird, a Southern Gothic bildungsroman novel (according to Wikipedia) by Harper Lee. I don’t know what a “Southern Gothic bildungsroman novel” is, but I guess I’ll find out when I read To kill a mockingbird.