In its own way, the American South is riddled with elements of the gothic genre. Instead of empty, isolated castles it has small towns, though just as haunted, just as full of secrets. The Southern Gothic is a clash between the old and the new, tradition and breaking the cycles its people are, or should be, ashamed of. It’s grotesque and violent, surreal and symbolic but it makes people listen. It’s about calling people to change or be forgotten. In the past, this genre had writers like O’Connor, Faulkner, Allison, and Williams, but these ideas and experiences are just as present today as they ever were.
Hard to Find: An Anthology of New Southern Gothic, with a foreword by Joe Lansdale, is an anthology focused on giving writers an opportunity to shed light on the issues faced by the people of the American South today, whether those are new issues or just new ways of taking on the same ghosts. How do you define the South? What makes Southern people different? Has anything really, truly changed from its history?
"As Charlie Parker, better known as the 'Bird' said about his love of country music, 'It’s the stories, man, it’s the stories.'
We will call these stories neither snail nor escargot, but what is clear is they wear the lanyard of Southern Gothic dangling around their necks. Beneath the lanyard is the skin, blood and bones of all good fiction."
--Joe R. Lansdale
About the Author
Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press