I was breezing through my Google Reader today to prepare for the onslaught of the reading marathon posts I expect this weekend. (I'm not participating because my garden beckons, but I hope everyone else has fun!) Anyway, I came across a post at Bluestalking titled "Good writing vs. bad, southern and otherwise." Any mention of Southern writing makes me think of Southern Ladies & Gentlemen. I know I've recommended it to several of you for challenges that have you reading Southern books, but it's really a book that anyone who's ever read Gone with the Wind or To Kill a Mockingbird or any of the other classic Southern books (or plays) should read.
King presents a study of Southern culture which is not only fun to read, but just about everything in it is applicable to any truly Southern story. It's a mix of essays (pop culture/sociology/history/etc.) that turns into something that suddenly makes Southern texts a lot more interesting and/or understandable and/or shed a new light on a story.
This is the first reading assignment I had for my Southern Women Writers class in grad school, and I am so glad Dr. Dukes had us read this. Enlightening and hilarious and highly recommended.