Since the end of World War II, the South has experienced a greater awareness of growth and of its accompanying tensions than other regions of the United States. The rapid change that climaxed with the war in Vietnam, the Cold War, civil rights demonstrations, and Watergate has forced the traditional South to come to terms with social upheaval. As the essays collected in Southern Writers at Century's End point out, southern writing: since 1975 reflects the confusion and violence that have characterized late-twentieth-century public culture.
These essays consider the work of twenty-one of the foremost southern writers whose most important fiction has appeared in the last quarter of this century. As the region's contemporary writers have begun to gain a wide audience, critics have begun to distinguish what Hugh Holman has called "the fresh, the vital, and the new" in southern literary culture. Southern Writers at Century's End is the first volume to take an extensive look at the current generation of southern writers.
Authors considered include: James Lee Burke, Fred Chappell, Robert Drake, Andre Dubus, Clyde Edgerton, Richard Ford, Kaye Gibbons, John Grisham, Barry Hannah, Mary Hood, Josephine Humphreys, Randall Kenan, Richard Marius, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cormac McCarthy, Tim McLaurin, T.R. Pearson, Lee Smith, Anne Tyle,r Alice Walker, and James Wilcox.