Contemporary Fiction Writers of the South: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

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The extraordinary flowering of Southern literary talent in the early twentieth century, the Southern Literary Renascence, has continued virtually unabated, showing increasing vitality in recent decades. These newer fiction writers, poets, dramatists, and journalists reflect in their work the changing social conditions of the South while also presenting traditional Southern values and qualities. Their astonishing output constitutes a phenomenon worthy of being called a Second Southern Literary Renascence. Joseph M. Flora and Robert Bain, editors of the acclaimed Fifty Southern Writers before 1900 and Fifty Southern Writers after 1900, found that they could only begin to suggest the continuing abundance and significance of Southern writing in the latter volume. Retaining the same format, they have developed two new volumes for the contemporary period. The first, focusing on fiction, comprises forty-nine talented novelists, including such popular figures as Pat Conroy, Gail Godwin, T. R. Pearson, Anne Tyler, and Alice Walker. The companion volume, (Contemporary Poets, Dramatists, Essayists, and Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook forthcoming from Greenwood Press) will cover primarily poets, playwrights, and essayists as well as fiction writers who have made major contributions to these other genres. The essays, written by scholars and critics, present in each case a biographical sketch, an analysis of the writer's style and major themes, an assessment of reviews and scholarship, a chronological list of works, and a bibliography of selected criticism. Considered individually and comparatively and with attention to the editors' introductory essay, these bio-bibliographical studies clearly demonstrate the state and strength of Southern letters.