Saturday, May 9, 2009

Catching Up-Southern Writers

Back in April, I attended the AEC Conference on Southern Literature here in Chattanooga. It’s held every two years, with the Writer’s Conference held in the alternating years. I attended the Writer’s Conference last year for the first time and for the first time, this year, I attended the Conference on Southern Literature. I absolutely loved it. I am a big reader, have been since I was young using mail order programs to cement my habit.

Being able to sit back and listen to the writer’s talk about the background behind their works and to read from their works makes a big difference in the types of books you would read. I bought seven books during the conference, some of which I would have walked by in the bookstore. Each of these took on a life for me when hearing the writers. I can’t wait to read them all.

I started with All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones. It’s a collection of short stories that draw you in and captivate. I think the very southern Elizabeth Spencer will be next. She spoke and all of a sudden I felt like I was back in Mississippi sitting at the feet of some of the women in my family, hearing them comment of life like only a southern woman could.

Check out some of these writers.

Top to bottom, the books I purchased:

Richard Bausch Someone to Watch Over Me
Edward P. Jones All Aunt Hagar’s Children
Elizabeth Spencer Landscapes of the Heart
Elizabeth Spencer The Voice at the Back Door
Jim Grimsley My Drowning
Rita Dove Selected Poems
Rita Dove Sonata Mulattica

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