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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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From “The Rise of Southern Redneck and White Trash Writers”1

From “The Rise of Southern Redneck and White Trash Writers”1

(p.9) From “The Rise of Southern Redneck and White Trash Writers”1
Rough South, Rural South

Erik Bledsoe

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the emergence of a new generation of southern writers who are giving voice to a different group of southerners, forcing their readers to reexamine long-held stereotypes and beliefs while challenging the literary roles traditionally assigned poor whites. According to Linda Tate, “traditionally, southern literature has been understood to be that written by white men and, on rare occasions, by white women—and, in almost all cases, by and about white southerners of the upper middle class.” This chapter looks at three new voices who write about the Rough South and the southern poor whites from within the class: Dorothy Allison, Larry Brown, and Timothy Reese McLaurin. The term “Rough South” refers to as the world of the redneck or white trash. The terms “redneck,” “white trash,” “cracker,” and “poor white” have all been used to describe certain white southerners.

Keywords:   southern writers, southern literature, white southerners, Rough South, southern poor whites, Dorothy Allison, Larry Brown, Timothy Reese McLaurin, redneck, white trash

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