This class, as designated in the University of Mary Washington catalog, is “a representative survey of the literature of the U.S. South from the early nineteenth century to the present.” I have been teaching a version of this course since 1997 and routinely change its focus and structure. This semester the course will focus only on eight central figures: Edgar Allan Poe and his short fiction; Frederick Douglass and the earliest version of his slave narrative; Harriet Jacobs and her slave narrative; Mark Twain and his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson; Kate Chopin and her novel The Awakening; William Faulkner and his novel As I Lay Dying; Zora Neale Hurston and her novel Jonah’s Gourd Vine; and Tennessee Williams and his play A Streetcar Named Desire.

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