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Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Drawing on storytelling traditions as old as southern literature itself, Grit Lit is the first anthology devoted to contemporary writing about the Rough South. From literary legends to emerging voices, the acclaimed writers featured in this collection view their hardscrabble South without romanticism or false nostalgia, not through moonlight and magnolia but moonshine and ...more
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published September 5th 2012 by University of South Carolina Press
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Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of contemporary Southern Lit.
Recommended to Lawyer by: Two Sisters Bookery, Wilmington,NC
Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader, Tom Franklin's and Brian Carpenter's Slide into the Dark Side of Southern Life

Published by The University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, 2012

If you've wondered what Grit Lit is, Tom Franklinand Brian Carpenterhave provided the answer with an outstanding anthology of short stories and excerpts from memoirs from some of the best known voices in contemporary Southern literature. The subtitle hints that the material contained between the cover of
Aaron S
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eye opening collection of undervalued writers w/jaw dropping stories. If you don't find at least two or three new authors you're interested in, you need to stop living so closed minded. An excellent form of finding what could be your next 5 star story!
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book in a few short days...the only thing missing was a little Cormac but he doesn't allow small excerpts of his stuff to be published so I can't fault the editors for that. If you have only explored the "hoop skirt" side of southern lit you are missing out!
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was like a delightful dementor - I read most of it certain I'd never feel cheerful again. Drugs and dead dogs and cockfights and guns and Mad Dog and Jim Beam. Incest and false gods and murder and unending violence. Glorious.

My favorites, though, were the George Singleton and Dale Ray Phillips stories, which were absurd and wry and brilliant and actually fun to read. I guess I wish this collection had a more even balance of wit with the grit.
Blue Cypress Books
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Guns, dogs, deeply dysfunctional families, trucks, men, drinking, violence. The stories individually were exceptional; all together they became overwhelming.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
excellent collection
Shaun Bailey
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This compilation of short stories and excerpts features two standouts, in my opinion: “Sorry Blood” by Tim Gautreaux and “Speckled Trout” by Ron Rash. I found “Sorry Blood” to be extraordinary given its appalling yet entertaining account of elder abuse. And “Speckled Trout” has a lasting impact because its ending is open to at least three different interpretations, all of which call into question your faith in humanity.

My recommendation is to read these two stories first, which requires skipping
Brian Newman
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The collected stories are mostly great and a very good intro to the genre. The main editor is too in love with himself and the genre to know what's good for him. His intro is embarrassing to read so skip it and enjoy the stories.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a2z
Southern grittiness, less than savory characters and dull, listless psyches. Some excellent pieces, some that were a tad to heavy; but all fine in there own right.
sloppy seconds
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A good reference to find "new to you" authors but I found the introduction very problematic. I've read it three times over the past several years and it still bothers me.
Champaign Public Library
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Forget about sweet tea on the veranda--these folks are drinking bootleg liquor in their decaying trailers and pickups. Grit Lit collects short stories and excerpts from memoirs and novels by authors from the "Rough South" genre. I kept telling myself to stop reading these violent and sometimes depressing stories but the quality of writing was so outstanding that I kept reading "just one more". There is some humor to be found here but the collection is dominated by disturbing tales of ...more
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent collection of stories and excerpts about the gritty South of those just scrapping by and sometimes not even that. Many stories I would rate at 5 stars although I gave this 4 stars because not all warranted the highest rating. First, the bad--the dry, scholarly introduction which was a total slog to get through. Some day I'll learn to read these last and just jump in and enjoy the stories. Once I started the stories, this book was great. The best of these for me: 1) Being ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing compilation. Brian Carpenter's introductory essay was definitive and insightful, and the selections introduced me to several new authors even though I was already a huge grit lit fan.
Karen Hill
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who knew I've always been a grit lit fan? I guess it started with John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath in English 101 back in 1979! Readers will love the variety of stories in this volume, which includes one of my favorite writers, Ron Rash!
Jacob Mosier
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Excellent book, there was not a story that I did not like. In my opinion the two pieces from Harry Crews, the selections from Dorothy Allison, and the story "Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You," were the highlights.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fine example of the best Southern writing from a number of writers I'd never heard of. They get to the nitty-gritty of life in the south without the mint juleps. Highly recommended.
Excellent survey of "rural noir" or Grit Lit as it's known. Selections are carefully selected, with an introduction and quote from the author. Includes a recommended reading list if you want more.
Christina Norwood
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mostly violent, often gruesome, sometimes funny. Several standout stories, would recommend, would re-read my favorites.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Bleak and and gritty stories, but that's how it should be. It's not all sweet tea and soft twang down here.
Jason Robinson
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A strong collection of stories about the fascinating white trash South.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: south-lit
Good stuff
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here's the full review I wrote for PopMatters.
Sam Slaughter
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic primer for anyone interested in delving into Rough South literature. Highly recommended for the number of authors covered, as well as the insight added in the preface/introduction.
Christopher Stevenson
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very good primer to contemporary Southern literature.
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Dec 04, 2016
Barry Johnson
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Aug 08, 2015
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Oct 14, 2012
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Oct 31, 2017
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Dec 31, 2012
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