The Southern Literature Collection consists of titles, fiction and non-fiction, that reflect the culture, atmosphere, and people of the American Southeast both historically and current.
Southern Literature Collection
Lead from the Outside
Lead from the Outside is a necessary guide to harnessing the strengths of being an outsider by Stacey Abrams, one of the most prominent black female politicians in the U.S.
Leadership is hard. Convincing others—and often yourself—that you possess the answers and are capable of world-affecting change requires confidence, insight, and sheer bravado. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with the awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional white male power—women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make a difference.
In Lead from the Outside, Stacey Abrams argues that knowing your own passion is the key to success, regardless of the scale or target. From launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action. Stacey uses her experience and hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, while offering personal stories that illuminate practical strategies.
Stacey includes exercises to help you hone your skills and realize your aspirations. She discusses candidly what she has learned over the course of her impressive career: that differences in race, gender, and class are surmountable. With direction and dedication, being in the minority actually provides unique and vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and make real change.
Southern Beauty explains a curiosity: why a feminine ideal rooted in the nineteenth century continues to enjoy currency well into the twenty-first. Elizabeth Bronwyn Boyd examines how the continuation of certain gender rituals in the American South has served to perpetuate racism, sexism, and classism.
In a trio of popular gender rituals-sorority rush, beauty pageants, and the Confederate Pageant of the Natchez (Mississippi) Pilgrimage-young white southern women have readily ditched contemporary modes of dress and comportment for performances of purity, gentility, and deference. Clearly, the ability to "do" white southern womanhood, convincingly and on cue, has remained a valued performance. But why?
Based on ethnographic research and more than sixty taped interviews, Southern Beauty goes behind the scenes of the three rituals to explore the motivations and rewards associated with participation. The picture that Boyd paints is not pretty: it is one of southern beauties securing status and sustaining segregation by making nostalgic gestures to the southern past. Boyd also maintains that the audiences for these rituals and pageants have been complicit, unwilling to acknowledge the beauties' racial work or their investment in it.
With its focus on performance, Southern Beauty moves beyond representations to show how femininity in motion-stylized and predictable but ephemeral-has succeeded as an enduring emblem, where other symbols faltered, by failing to draw scrutiny. Continuing to make the moves of region and race even as many Confederate symbols have been retired, the southern beauty has persisted, maintaining power and privilege through consistent performance.
The Southern Baking Cookbook
Rustic Treats That Taste Like Home
North Carolina native and award-winning Two Cups Flour blogger Jenn Davis knows the key to Southern baking—think fresh fruit, real sugar and full-fat buttermilk. And with this standout book, anyone, anywhere can experience some down-south magic.
Jenn blends her Southern sensibilities with a unique approach to flavor, reimagining crowd-pleasing classics with a twist. You’ll learn to make fluffy Blueberry Buttermilk Malt Pancakes and Mountain Molasses Cornbread, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie and Chorizo-Jalapeño Scones. Plus, these easy-to-follow recipes feature must-have tips for mastering pie crust, layer cakes, cookie dough, quick breads and more. Impress your friends and family with festive Vanilla-Bourbon Marshmallows or a citrusy Sunshine Pie passed down for generations. Jenn’s creative use of everyday ingredients and clear, step-by-step instructions make each treat perfect for beginner bakers and pastry pros alike.
No matter where you live, these sweet and savory bakes will bring a touch of Southern comfort to your kitchen!
The Saints of Swallow Hill
Where the Crawdads Sing meets The Four Winds as award-winning author Donna Everhart's latest novel immerses readers in its unique setting—the turpentine camps and pine forests of the American South during the Great Depression. This captivating story of friendship, survival, and three vagabonds' intersecting lives will stay with readers long after turning the final page.
It takes courage to save yourself...
In the dense pine forests of North Carolina, turpentiners labor, hacking into tree trunks to draw out the sticky sap that gives the Tar Heel State its nickname, and hauling the resin to stills to be refined. Among them is Rae Lynn Cobb and her husband, Warren, who run a small turpentine farm together.
Though the work is hard and often dangerous, Rae Lynn, who spent her childhood in an orphanage, is thankful for it--and for her kind if careless husband. When Warren falls victim to his own negligence, Rae Lynn undertakes a desperate act of mercy. To keep herself from jail, she disguises herself as a man named "Ray" and heads to the only place she can think of that might offer anonymity--a turpentine camp in Georgia named Swallow Hill.
Swallow Hill is no easy haven. The camp is isolated and squalid, and commissary owner Otis Riddle takes out his frustrations on his browbeaten wife, Cornelia. Although Rae Lynn works tirelessly, she becomes a target for Crow, the ever-watchful woods rider who checks each laborer's tally. Delwood Reese, who's come to Swallow Hill hoping for his own redemption, offers "Ray" a small measure of protection, and is determined to improve their conditions. As Rae Lynn forges a deeper friendship with both Del and Cornelia, she begins to envision a path out of the camp. But she will have to come to terms with her past, with all its pain and beauty, before she can open herself to a new life and seize the chance to begin again.
“Fans of Sarah Addison Allen won't be able to put it down.” – Booklist
The Auburn Conference
"It is 1883 and America is at a crossroads. The Civil War is nearly twenty years in the past, Reconstruction has been crushed in the South, and the Gilded Age is bringing unprecedented prosperity to some, along with radical social and class conflicts. At a tiny college in upstate New York, an idealistic young professor has managed to convince Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Confederate memoirist Forrest Taylor, and romance novelist Lucy Comstock to participate in the first (and last) Auburn Writers' Conference for a public discussion about the future of the nation. Over the course of a weekend this already combustible mix is heated up by a group of Suffragists advocating for women's rights, a contingent of die-hard Confederate sympathizers, an apocalyptic street-corner preacher, and a muckraking journalist who stirs the pot in hopes of bringing things to a boil. In this wildly audacious fictional tour de force, author Tom Piazza brings these figures to life as they encounter one another onstage and off - arguing, telling stories, reading aloud, and finally engaging in a debate that leads the gathering to the edge of chaos. By turns brilliantly comic and eerily prescient, The Auburn Conference vibrates with questions as alive and urgent today as they were in 1883 - the chronic American conundrums of race, class, and gender, and the fate of the democratic ideal"--
The mayor of Atlanta and a washed-up reporter investigate a series of assassinations, and uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the heart of the city's political machine.
Mayor Victoria Dobbs Overstreet is a Harvard-trained attorney and Spelman alum, married to a celebrated heart surgeon, mother to beautiful twin girls, and a political genius. When her mentor, ally, and friend Congressman Ezra Hawkins is gunned down in Ebenezer Baptist Church, Victoria finds a strange piece of origami–a “paper god”–tucked inside his Bible. These paper gods turn up again and again, always after someone is killed. Someone is terrorizing those who are close to Mayor Dobbs, and she can't shake the feeling that the killer is close to her, too.
"A moving and unflinching portrait of a city and its many layers of power...Taylor has created a hero we see all too rarely: black, female, powerful." —Tim Teeman, Senior Editor of The Daily Beast
"From buttermilk fried okra to bibles and bullets, the story comes out the gate moving and never lets up.” —Eric Jerome Dickey, New York Times bestselling author of A Wanted Woman
Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
Brings to life the people of Times Creek, North Carolina. Black or white, gay or straight, redneck bigot or exiled yuppie - none of them can escape the past, the ties of family, the memories of long-lost love, or the legacy of slavery.
Hell at the Breech
In 1897, an aspiring politician is mysteriously murdered in the rural area of Alabama known as Mitcham Beat. His outraged friends -- —mostly poor cotton farmers -- form a secret society, Hell-at-the-Breech, to punish the townspeople they believe responsible. The hooded members wage a bloody year-long campaign of terror that culminates in a massacre where the innocent suffer alongside the guilty. Caught in the maelstrom of the Mitcham war are four people: the aging sheriff sympathetic to both sides; the widowed midwife who delivered nearly every member of Hell-at-the-Breech; a ruthless detective who wages his own war against the gang; and a young store clerk who harbors a terrible secret.
Based on incidents that occurred a few miles from the author's childhood home, Hell at the Breech chronicles the events of dark days that led the people involved to discover their capacity for good, evil, or for both.
Jeffrey's Favorite 13 Ghost Stories
This is the first anthology of the author's own favorite ghost stories from the highly successful Jeffrey series of books that began in 1969 with 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. Hundreds of thousands of these books have been sold. The present volume includes 13 of the best of Mrs. Windham's stories, representing mysterious and supernatural doings from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Most of the stories are related to historical places and sometimes to historical people.
An Amazon Charts bestseller.
A gripping novel about family secrets...and coming home for the first time.
Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she's inherited--one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she's never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe--just maybe--this "Winter Cottage" will answer the endless questions about her mother's past...including the identity of her birth father.
Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows--big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy's inheritance.
Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she'll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she's never really had: a home.