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Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader Paperback – September 15, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"…the entire atmosphere and storytelling tradition of the "Grit Lit" genre resembles what AMC turned into television over the past five years with the teacher-turned-drug-lord epic, Breaking Bad. If Walter White, the show's protagonist, doesn't fit the description of "a man with little hope of salvation trying to salvage what he can," then no modern character does."-- Craig Manning, Independent Publisher

"Hats off to the editors and publisher who 'birthed' this amazing and needed anthology representing the best of a provocative subsegment of southern American literature. . . . There is lots of beer drinkin', fast drivin', and cussin' going on in these pieces by such rousing bright lights in the southern firmament as Dorothy Allison, Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, and William Gay. The book is inaugurated on the highest plateau with the late Harry Crews' opening segment, 'A Childhood: The Biography of a Place,' one of the best father remembrances you'll ever read. . . . The lifestyles and lives all of these authors write about may not be sweet, but the ring of quality throughout the book is certainly sweet to the ear."

--Booklist (starred review)

"While the focus of the collection is on the "rough south," there is a great range and diversity of styles and subject matter in the memoirs and stories. Overall, you get a sense of the richness and diversity of contemporary Southern writing."



- Robert Morgan, BookPage

"New York Times best-seller Franklin and freelancer Carpenter anthologize here for the first time Grit Lit--bleak, violent, and sometimes blackly funny stories of 'poor southern white' folks--in an attempt to 'refocus the attention back where it belongs--on the writing itself rather than on the alleged exploits of the contributors.' Featured here are Rough South mainstays such as Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, and Barry Hannah, as well as some lesser-known writers like Anne Pancake and newcomer Alex Taylor. . . . These selections do reveal the genre's breadth, from realism to postmodernism, from Southern gothic to country noir. . . . Students, teachers, and Rough South devotees will also find helpful the critical and recommended reading, viewing, and listening sections hunkered in the back of the book."

--Publishers Weekly

"Bravo! As an enthusiast of literature of the 'Rough South,' I am thrilled to see this latest recognition in an extraordinary reader. Tom Franklin's thorough definition of the term grit helps readers like me to accept the term that even Larry Brown found offensive as applied to his work and himself. Brian Carpenter's introduction to the collection is complete--eminently informative and sensitively written. I also applaud the broad range of writers included in the volume. When I teach 'Writers of the Rough South' again, this outstanding reader will be part of the class materials. The general enthusiast of literature of the South, too, will relish its content."--Jean W. Cash, author of Larry Brown: A Writer's Life

"There may be too many good manners and cupcakes, too much prissibility, in what is fashionably called 'Southern Literature.' Here in Grit Lit you'll find some needed and necessary cutting to the bone, some ass kicking, drooling, yelling, and shooting up the house and refrigerator, some use of tools from a toolshed, not a toolbar. Some hurt and love. And some delicate, precision writing by talented women and men writers, including those we've lost too soon: McLaurin, Brown, and now Gay, Hannah, Crews, and Nordan. The whole world needs this book, its daring and direct stare, its treasures."--Clyde Edgerton

From the Inside Flap

An anthology of memoirs and fiction by some of the most acclaimed writers in contemporary Southern literature
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (September 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611170834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611170832
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth M. Ellis on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book! Every selection will maintain your interest. The stories are earthy, full of pathos about suffering, loss, and the human condition. Yet this is literary fiction. If you're from the South, you'll connect with the stories of these gritty characters.

E.E. Atlanta
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Gross on December 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read Grit Lit if you want an introduction to rough south authors. Don't read Grit Lit expecting to enjoy a series of rough south short stories. It's a book of excerpts pulled from the works of authors past and present who wrote about the hard country ways of the south. Many of them are so brief that its hard to feel satisfied with the experience. It's a very good advertisement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Handley on December 31, 2013
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If seeing a pulpwooder described as "hauling away the forest, one quivering load at a time" strikes a chord (and that's in the introduction), this book's for you. If you've ever felt the slow burn of moonshine down your gullet, or kept company with men you'd never introduce to your sister, this book is for you. If you've inhaled, thrown a punch, let lust get in the way of common sense, marveled at the songs of coon dogs, maybe sniffed your own crevices ... this collection will keep you turning pages. If Flannery O'Connor were alive today, this book would be on her nightstand. Trust me: Buy two copies, because you'll want to share without parting with yours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luke Thornton on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
What an appetite-whetting anthology. You'll read right on out of the end of the book and into the full lists of these authors. Very smart writing from Carpenter and Franklin in the editorial material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Hungerford on October 23, 2013
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This is what I call a man's book of stories for men. I recommend it highly for anyone looking for no nonsense stories with people just like those you know personally, for better or worse.
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