Fay’s Deep-South Landscape of Violence
This chapter offers a reading of Larry Brown’s 2000 novel Fay, arguing that its pervasive violence is a defining characteristic of the postmodern South. A gripping and violent tale of a young woman who escapes an abusive home life and travels alone through Mississippi, Fay associates the road with violence, danger, and gruesome death. In handling this dark environment and its effect on his characters, Brown summons the Southern Gothicism of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor as well as the school of literary naturalism. Moreover, he creates empathy for his characters that is in stark contrast to stereotypical depictions of the Southern poor whites.
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