29 August 2009

Susan Ketchin's The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction

The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction, by Susan Ketchin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994), is too good a book to leave on the sidelines, so initially I'll just describe its structure and post more about it in several weeks from now, as I've a bit more to write about Ted Hughes's (and Sylvia Plath's) Yorkshire, J. B. Priestley's Bradford, and a few other things of interest. Ketchin's book takes its half-title from a Flannery O'Connor comment, in which she describes the American South as not Christ-centred, but decidedly 'Christ-haunted'. Ketchin's book contains twelve religious-based pieces of fiction by Southern authors, and twelve interviews that she had with the same writers: Doris Betts, Sheila Bosworth, Larry Brown, Mary Ward Brown, Will Campbell, Harry Crews, Clyde Edgerton, Sandra Hollins Flowers, Allan Gurganus, Randall Kenan, Reynolds Price, and Lee Smith.

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