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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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The Rough South of Ron Rash

The Rough South of Ron Rash

(p.99) The Rough South of Ron Rash
Rough South, Rural South

Thomas Ærvold Bjerre

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the fiction of Ron Rash, who sets almost all of his work—poems, short stories, and novels—in the Carolinas and focuses on the people who live or have lived there. Rash was born in Chester, South Carolina, in 1953, and grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. While not a direct heir to the “Southern Redneck and White Trash” tradition, Rash fills his work with characters firmly embedded in the Rough South—mostly lower-class whites from Appalachian North and South Carolina. Rash's work illustrates his concern with working-class characters and their struggles, with poor whites and their violent conflicts. His interest in the working class reflects his own family background. Rash published his first collection of poetry, Eureka Mill, in 1998. He also wrote novels that depict violence, such as One Foot in Eden, The World Made Straight, and Serena.

Keywords:   fiction, Ron Rash, Rough South, poor whites, working class, Eureka Mill, violence, One Foot in Eden, The World Made Straight, Serena

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