Friday, June 22, 2018

Ten essential southern books you probably haven’t read

A native of Mississippi, Nick White is the author of the novel How to Survive a Summer and the newly released short story collection, Sweet & Low.

At Publishers Weekly he tagged ten "vital, and quintessentially Southern, titles that deserve to sit on the shelf alongside the classics," including:
Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Laymon’s extraordinary debut novel is a tale of two Cities—two boys named City, that is, who live in Mississippi at different times. The story opens in present-day Jackson with the first City (short for Citoyen) as he gears up to compete in the national televised competition, "Can You Use That Word in a Sentence," with his rival, LaVander Peeler. City discovers a book, titled Long Division, that appears to be narrated by another City from the 1980s. From there, the novel becomes a wild adventure story involving time travel, as well as a bold exploration of Mississippi’s racist legacies and how the effects of segregation and slavery continue to hold consequence for our narrators and the places they call home. (Also, dear reader, remember Kiese Laymon’s name: later this year, his memoir, Heavy, will be published by Scribner and promises to light the world on fire.)
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue