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Dixie Chicks

A collection of books with powerful southern women as their theme

Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina.

“This fiercely moving, unforgettable first novel tells the story of Ruth Anne Boatwright — called Bone by her family — a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. This tender yet disturbing tale is a harrowing story of family violence and incest that is “simply stunning.” –New York Times Book Review

Ansa, Tina Mcelroy. The Hand I Fan.

“Lena McPherson, first seen in Ansa’s Baby of the Family (Harcourt, 1991), is now the 45-year-old town matriarch of Mulberry, Georgia. Lena was born with a caul over her face, a veil of skin that, according to legend, signifies a charmed life and the powers of clairvoyance.” From Library Journal

Battle, Lois. The Florabama Ladies Auxiliary & Sewing Circle.

“Welcome to Florabama, Alabama. Off the main highway and down the dirt roads, small plots of cotton and soy flank brighter crops of jonquil and daffodil. You can sip a Co’cola or iced tea and think about money and love.” From the Publisher

Browne, Jill Conner. The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book Of Love.

To know the Sweet Potato Queens is to love them, and if you haven’t heard about them yet, you will. Since the early 1980s, this group of belles gone bad has been the toast of Jackson, Mississippi, with their glorious annual appearance in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Burns, Olive Ann. Cold Sassy Tree.

A timeless, funny, resplendent novel about romance and adolescence, and how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century.

Delaney Sisters. Having Our Say.

The authors present recollections of their lives from the turn of the century to the present.

Edgerton, Clyde Raney. Walking Across Egypt.

She is Mattie Rigsbee, an independent, strong-minded senior citizen who might just be slowing a bit. When young delinquent Wesley Benfield drops into her life, he is an even less likely companion than her stray dog. But once Mattie starts taking in strays, there is no stopping her.

Flagg, Fannie. Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café.

A folksy, funny and endearing story of life in a small town in Alabama in the Depression and in the 1980s. However, the novel’s laughter and tears are interrupted by a strange murder and a still stranger trial.

Frank, Dorothea. Sullivan’s Island.

Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, Sullivan’s Island marks the debut of an exquisitely talented writer–and tells the unforgettable story of one woman’s courageous journey toward truth.

Gibbons, Kaye. Charms For The Easy Life.

In the verdant backwoods of North Carolina, in the sad and singular 1940s, the Birches are unique among women of their time. Charlie Kate is a self-proclaimed doctor who treats everything from leprosy to malaria with herbs and roots, much to the chagrin of her strong-willed daughter Sophia. Shy, brilliant Margaret narrates the tale, as she struggles with the home front demands of World War II.

Gurganus, Allan. Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

This novel’s narrator, “ninety-nine year old Lucille Marsden, {is} confined to a charity nursing home in North Carolina. . . . {She} tells the story of her marriage to ‘Captain’ Will Marsden, ostensibly the Civil War’s last survivor, whom she married when she was fifteen and he was more than triple her age.” Library Journal

King, Florence. Confessions Of A Failed Southern Lady.

Florence may have been a disappointment to her Granny, whose dream of rearing a Perfect Southern Lady would never quite be fulfilled.

Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer. 

Weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of southern Appalachia.

Mccorkle, Jill. Carolina Moon.

Interconnected tales of residents of tiny Fulton, North Carolina. In this beach community that pretty much empties out during the winter, the more permanent residents are living lives of desperation–some quiet, others noisy–having love affairs, getting into the erotic massage business, and occasionally murdering each other.

Mccrumb, Sharyn. If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him.

When forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson becomes the official P.I. for her brother Bill’s fledgling Virginia law firm, she quickly takes on two complex cases. Eleanor Royden, a perfect lawyer’s wife for twenty years, has shot her ex-husband and his wife in cold blood. And Donna Jean Morgan is implicated in the death of her Bible-thumping bigamist husband.

Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With The Wind.

A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.

Naylor, Gloria. Mama Day.

On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the island’s darker forces.

Portis, Charles. True Grit.

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’ father was shot and killed. Told through her eyes, True Grit is the story of how she and hard-drinking Marshal Rooster Cogburn set out to find and prosecute his murderer. “An epic and a legend.”—Washington Post

Price, Reynolds. Kate Vaiden.

Price’s most memorable character yet, finds herself at a crucial moment in middle age. She feels compelled to figure out the mystery of her parents’ violent deaths, to keep track of all the men—sublime and ridiculous–she had loved; and to find the child she bore and abandoned at age seventeen.

Smith, Deborah. On Bear Mountain.

Only the most peculiar, heartfelt fate could link the star-crossed Ricconni family of New York with the dirt-poor Powells of the Georgia mountains.

Smith, Lee. Fair & Tender Ladies.

This novel of life in the Appalachians “unfolds through a series of letters written by Ivy Rowe, a Virginia mountain girl. Ivy, born with the century, begins her letter writing when she is about 10 years old; the letters continue for nearly 65 years.” (N Y Times Book Rev)

Trigiani, Adriana. Big Stone Gap.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state.

Wells, Rebecca. The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  

When Vivi and Siddalee Walker, an unforgettable mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a ‘tap-dancing child abuser,’ the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together.

 

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