And yes, I'm talking about the U.S. Deep South. Anybody got any rec's for books by Southern writers? I like the darker stuff - noir, hard-boiled, y'know, dark! I've already read a ton of JLB, but know I'm missing out on a ton of other writers. Help!
I nominate anything by Daniel Woodrell. His more recent novels have been described as "Country Noir," and they play out among the hardbitten folks in the Ozarks. The latest is WINTER'S BONE, which follows Ree, the teenage daughter of a jailed meth dealer who puts up the family home as bail, and then disappears. Ree has to care for her two young brothers and sedated, mentally ill mother, while trying to find her father before they lose the house. Beautiful prose that conveys the secrecy, loyalty and paranoia of the culture.
On the other hand, his earlier Rene Shade series follows the Cajun cop through the corrupt and dirty world of of St.Bruno, a fictional bayou town. Hardboiled, yet completely different from the standalones that make up the "Country Noir" collection.
In short, if you haven't read Woodrell, you just don't know what you're missing. One of the great underappreciated writers of this generation.
Y'know, WINTER'S BONE has been on my 'must check out' list for ages. I keep looking for it at my local bookstore, but no dice. Guess it's time to go ahead and order the damn thing from Amazon - thanks for the reminder.
Don's absolutely right - Daniel Woodrell is your man. Any and all of his books. For other southern writers - well, my geography is pretty bad but how about Joe Lansdale (and Rick Riordan (Texas), Anthony Neil Smith, Ace Atkins and James Sallis (Louisiana), James Crumley (southern California), James O Born and Carl Hiaasen (Florida), Steve Brewer (New Mexico).
Yeah, I know, we're 'Like a Whole Other Country'. Actually my part of the State is another country. South Texas. But if you haven't read Riordan's BIG RED TEQUILA, you might want to give it a try.
I thought it was a great read.