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Personal Souths Interviews from the Southern Quarterly

Edited by Douglas B. Chambers

352 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, appendix, index

978-1-61703-290-5 Printed casebinding $65.00S

978-1-61703-291-2 Paper $30.00S

978-1-61703-292-9 Ebook $30.00

Printed casebinding, $65.00

Paper, $30.00

Ebook 978-1-61703-292-9, $30.00


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The very best literary interviews from fifty years of scholarly inquiry

Interviews with Doris Betts, Larry Brown, Erskine Caldwell, Harry Crews, Ellen Douglas, Ernest J. Gaines, Donald Harington, William Hoffman, Josephine Humphreys, David Madden, Bobbie Ann Mason, Robert Morgan, Reynolds Price, Mary Lee Settle, Del Shores, Lee Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, William Styron, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams

Interviews by Anne Gray Brown, W. Dale Brown, Casey Clabough, Linda Byrd Cook, Ashby Bland Crowder, Virginia Gunn Fick, Jeffrey J. Folks, David Hammond, Jennifer Howard, David K. Jeffrey, Peter Josyph, Susan Ketchin, Donald R. Noble, Martha Van Noppen, Jere Real, Jac Tharpe, Alphonse Vinh, Larry Vonalt, Albert E. Wilhelm, Christine Wilson, and Andrea Powell Wolfe

Personal Souths, a collection of twenty literary interviews with famous southern writers, will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Southern Quarterly, one of the oldest scholarly journals (founded in 1962) dedicated to southern studies. The writers range from Erskine Caldwell, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams (all interviewed in the 1970s), to a Who's-Who of southern literature in the second half of the twentieth century. All of these interviews were originally published in the journal in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and are collected here for the first time.

The South is represented broadly, with writers from nine states: at least four represent the "mountain South" (Donald Harington, Bobbie Ann Mason, Robert Morgan, Lee Smith), while another four typify a "cosmopolitan South" (Reynolds Price, Mary Lee Settle, Elizabeth Spencer, Tennessee Williams). The greatest number of voices, at least eight of the writers, speak for or from the "poor white South" (Larry Brown, Erskine Caldwell, Harry Crews, Donald Harington, Bobbie Ann Mason, Robert Morgan, Del Shores, Lee Smith). Of the seventy literary interviews published in the journal in the past thirty years, only one was with an African American writer, Ernest J. Gaines, included here. Several other interviews (Larry Brown, Ellen Douglas, William Styron) consider issues of race, and Styron (the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Confessions of Nat Turner) focuses on a conversation about African American literature. It is a testament to the quality of the Southern Quarterly that many of these writers, when discussing their most important contemporaries, often refer to other writers whose interviews are also in this collection.

Douglas B. Chambers, Brooklyn, Mississippi, is the former editor of the Southern Quarterly (2005-2011) and associate professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of Murder at Montpelier: Igbo Africans in Virginia, published by University Press of Mississippi.

352 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, appendix, index