Soon we start back reading “Southern Gothic” literature, focusing on those works published between 1930 and 1970. (By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why Southern Gothic is so universally popular, here’s a great little essay on that.) Another very interesting book for us to read on the side is a big biography on four Christian writers, including two of our main authors: The Life You Save May Be Your Own, the story of four modern American Catholics who made literature out of their search for God
Our first book will be The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding, which is a poignant story, set in a small town in Georgia circa 1940. We will use the discussion questions found in the Houghton-Mifflin study guide. And here is an interesting article on Carson McCullers. After this one we will work chronologically through these novels, adding in some short stories with some of them. Every couple of months we may read a contemporary Southern writer, such as Cormac McCarthy or Pat Conroy.
The Reading List
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers (1946)
Light In August by William Faulkner (1932)
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor (1952) – A great article on this is here.
The Optimist’s Daughter (or) The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty (1973)