10 best books like Raney (Clyde Edgerton): Big Bad Love, The Sharpshooter Blues, Oral History, Run with the Horsemen, Kate Vaiden, Dreams of Sleep, Can't Quit You, Baby (Contemporary American Fiction), Lightning Bug, In My Father's House, I Am One of You Forever

AuthorLarry Brown
The whole world seemed to be trying to be decent, and I seemed an indecent thing in it.*

This one was recommended to me by my pal John, who described it as "... a two evening read filled with social misfits." Though I spend most of my evenings surrounded by social misfits, I decided to give a read...
AuthorLewis Nordan
The Sharpshooter Blues: Guns, Loving and Loss, a Half Bubble off Plumb

Slightly more than three years ago I founded a group On the Southern Literary Trail. It is not a "moonlight and magnolias" site. Here readers choose works by iconic authors of Southern literature and new voices in what...
AuthorLee Smith
This is a story about five generations of the Cantrell family. They live in Hoot Owl Holler in West Virginia. Southern life in the mountains of Appalachia is the book's story. The first Cantrell came from Ireland. The patriarch fought in the Civil War for the Union, lost a leg and when the remaining stump...
AuthorFerrol Sams
Porter Osborne Jr. is a precocious, sensitive, and rambunctious boy trying to make it through adolescence during the depression years. On a red-clay farm in Georgia he learns all there is to know about cotton chopping, hog killing, watermelon thumping, and mule handling. School provides a quick course...
AuthorReynolds Price
0ne of the most feisty, spellbinding and engaging heroines in modern fiction captures the essence of her own life in this contemporary American odyssey born of red-clay land and small-town people. We meet Kate at a crucial moment in middle age when she begins to yearn to see the son she abandoned when...
AuthorJosephine Humphreys
I thought this was extraordinary when I read it in 1985. Recently, I pulled it from my add-to-GoodReads shelf. (Six other books in this category sit on my desk, plus a fairly long list of others. They mean too much to me to toss off in a quick review.) I was facing some fairly insipid fiction and got drawn into...
AuthorEllen Douglas
"It is rare when a book this fine enters the world of contemporary American literature." - The Boston Globe

Two women share a Mississippi household for fifteen years, rolling out piecrusts and making conversation. Cornelia is rich, white, and pampered, the mistress of the house, who oversees...
AuthorDonald Harington
"The smells of things in the air of the night are the calls of lives wanting to be found. Why else are fragrances fragrant?
We see to find, we hear to find, we smell to find and be found. Until we find or be found, we are lost and wanting."

The theme of the mood of an ending is of a loss or finding.I...
AuthorErnest J. Gaines
In My Father's House: Ernest Gaines' Novel of Living with One's Past

In My Father's House by Ernest J. Gaines, published in 1978, was chosen by members of On the Southern Literary Trail as a Group Read for January, 2015. Special thanks to Trail Member Jane of the UK, who nominated Professor Gaines'...
AuthorFred Chappell
Wonderfully funny and also deeply touching, I Am One of You Forever is the story of a young boy's coming of age. Set in the hills and hollows of western North Carolina in the years around World War II, it tells of ten-year-old Jess and his family -- father, mother, grandmother, foster brother, and an odd...
AuthorJill McCorkle
I'd have to say this was my least favorite of all Ms. McCorkle's novels. I absolutely loved Carolina Moon and consider it to be in my top 20 novels, so perhaps my expectations were too high. The storytelling itself is genius in the build up of suspense of secrets revealed as the storm rages outside and characters...
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis
AuthorElle Thornton
Nearly everything important in twelve-year-old Gabriella's life that summer of 1957 can be traced to the river. On the North Carolina military base where she lives, she meets the African-American Marine Hawkins by the river's brown-green water. Hawkins, a servant in the kitchen of her father's quarters,...
AuthorKaye Gibbons
I read A Cure for Dreams only about a week ago and yet when I came to write this review, I realized I couldn’t remember a thing about it! Which is in itself a rather damning review… And yet I rather liked A Cure for Dreams. The fact is, it’s not about plot. It’s more about evoking this small Southern...
AuthorPamela Duncan
In the lush North Carolina foothills, the Moon women have put down roots: matriarch Marvelle Moon, who’s losing her grip on the world after more than eighty years of life; her daughters, Ruth Ann and Cassandra; and Ruth Ann’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Ashley, fresh out of rehab, unmarried,...
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