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The top 10 Southern novels of all time

The Oxford American offers its top 10 Southern novels of all time, and all you haters out there take note: William Faulkner nabs three of the spots!Absalom

1. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner

2. All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren

3. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

6. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy

7. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

8. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

9. Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor

10. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

How many have you read? I've read only six, and I think I might be able to make a compelling argument that Gone With the Wind oughta to be on here somewhere, maybe instead of The Moviegoer (the charms of which have always somehow eluded me). I mean, seriously, folks, it's popular fiction, but it's iconic, and I don't know a soul alive who didn't get completely wrapped up in it.


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I love Faulkner and I cannot quibble with the choices but...there are some other Southern writers. And what is a "Southern Writer"? Generally it excludes Florida so it isn't a geographical thing....


Oh and I read 7...


Well, look, they have Zora Neale Hurston...she was a Florida writer...

And I like Childhood: Biography of a Place a lot more than The Moviegoer, too.

Haven't read this Flannery O'Connor novel, but I love her short stories.

Larry Apple

I have read five. In my twenties, in New York City, I decided to read all of Faulkner. It took me about 10 years of reading on and off. I plan to go back to him and see how my life experience has changed my vision of his work.

Larry Apple

Wait, make that six. I read The Moviegoer also and have barely any memory of it. I'll try that one again also.

Matt Pinzur

I read All The King's Men about six months ago... amazing how well the first 2/3 of it stands up. (Also amazing how painfully dull the last third is.)

Neely Tucker

i've read nine...i'd knock out "moviegoer" and "as i lay" (since bill is already represented) for "the known world" and "autobiography of miss jane pittman." (or, hell, at least make the third faulker "light in august.") and, depending on one's def of "southern" novel, "native son." (it's set in chicago, but is about southerners who went up north in the migration and wright is from miss. besides, it's pretty hard to call "invisible man" a southern book, as at least half of it takes place in nyc.)


Wow, I had forgotten The Known World. That is a great book. Did you read his short story collection? I loved it, too, though it's set in and around DC for the most part.


By the grace of God I was born a Southerner. By my own foolish decisions I became a South Floridian. I am not now nor have I ever been "completely wrapped up in" Gone With the Wind. (My wife has read the book about 100 times and watched the movie about the same amount so what can I say. You are right, it should be on the list)
I have read 7 of the books. Right now Twain is at the top. Twenty years ago it would have been Faulkner and O'Connor.
I agree that Childhood: Biography of a Place is really good.

can't fight this feeling anymore

Maybe Gone with the Wind is more of a book for women?

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