SOUTHERN GOTHIC AUTHORS

  1. Edgar Allen Poe
    More of a classic American gothic author than one who was particularly Southern but he was still pretty influential for the genre
  2. Charles Chesnutt
    "The Marrow of Tradition" I immensely enjoyed, and since I've been shopping for a collection of his well-known short stories. The novel is set apart from most others on this list for its temporal proximity to reconstruction and its explicit subject matter of how the South failed to recover.
  3. Carson McCullers
    "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is often considered a quintessentially Southern Gothic text and is on my to be read list for this reason. McCullers is also intriguing for her friendships with Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.
  4. William Faulkner
    "A Rose for Emily" epitomizes much of what I consider to be Southern Gothic. And "The Sound and the Fury" pushed conventions of the genre in unexpected and innovative ways. I should read "As I Lat Dying" at some point, if for no other reason, to not feel bad watching the James Franco film adaptation without having read the book first.
  5. Flannery O'Connor
    I love many of her short stories, like "The Displaced Person" and the classic "A Good Man is Hard to Find." "Wise Blood" is a novel of hers that I'd love to read to think more about how religion interfaces with the Southern Gothic genre
  6. Tennessee Williams
    "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" remain two of my favorite plays, both addressing peculiar circumstances of Southern culture and societal constraints on women
  7. Truman Capote
    Hilton Als is convincing me I have to read some Capote, both his classics and more obscure short stories (http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-shadows-in-truman-capotes-early-stories)
  8. Cormac McCarthy
    He has been on my list to read for years, and regrettably I still have not read anything by him. "The Road" is what I would start with but "All the Pretty Horses" and "Blood Meridian" are also books I should get to.
  9. Walker Percy
    When researching Southern Gothic, Percy often came up. "The Moviegoer" didn't leave a strong impression on me, but Percy is thought of so highly I would give him another try.
  10. Zora Neale Hurtson
    "Their Eyes Were Watching God" has been on my list to read since high school. Somehow the classic never appeared on a syllabus for a class I've taken, and I haven't picked it up in my free time yet. Many friends have recommended it. I can't attest to how well it fits under the category Southern Gothic at this point.
  11. John Kennedy O'Toole
    Countless friends have recommended "a Confederacy of Dunces," and I've been impressed by how many people I've met abroad have read the book and how much it figures into their conception of the South.
  12. Toni Morrison
    A more contemporary writer, her style is elegant and her subjects sobering but accurate reflections of spectres haunting society that many would rather ignore. "Beloved" was the text that first inspired me, and I've been meaning to read more of her ("The Bluest Eye") and literary analyses of her books.