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Rough South, Rural SouthRegion and Class in Recent Southern Literature$
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Jean W. Cash and Keith Perry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802330

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802330.001.0001

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date: 23 October 2017

A Country for Old Men: The South of Clyde Edgerton’s Early Novels

A Country for Old Men: The South of Clyde Edgerton’s Early Novels

Chapter:
(p.157) A Country for Old Men: The South of Clyde Edgerton’s Early Novels
Source:
Rough South, Rural South
Author(s):

Robert Donahoo

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496802330.003.0016

This chapter discusses Clyde Edgerton's early novels, whose characters define themselves and the essential nature of contemporary life in the South. If we accept Erik Bledsoe's description of the Rough South as “a world of excess—excessive alcohol, excessive sex, excessive violence,” the works of Edgerton hardly seem to qualify. Indeed, Yvonne Mason, in Reading, Learning, Teaching Clyde Edgerton, declares his work “infinitely suitable” for “young readers in the English Language Arts classroom”—an appraisal difficult to imagine for the fiction of Harry Crews or Larry Brown. Edgerton's first three novels—Raney (1985), Walking Across Egypt (1987), and The Floatplane Notebooks (1988)—offer a way to understand his South, a world that increasingly belongs to and is defined by aging and death. This chapter considers Edgerton's other works, including the novel The Night Train (2011), the memoir Solo: My Adventure in the Air (2005), and the nonfiction Papadaddy's Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages (2013).

Keywords:   novels, Clyde Edgerton, Rough South, Raney, Walking Across Egypt, The Floatplane Notebooks, aging, death, The Night Train, Solo

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