Guernica’s latest issue is devoted to the American South. As the issue’s introduction states, “The American South is at once a geographical distinction and a bright spot in the imagination, where burden vies with birthright, and where ignorance and renaissance exist side by side.” The issue features a Kiese Laymon essay on inequality and language, Ed Winstead on the Southern accent in writing, an interview with Jesmyn Ward, fiction, and more.
As it turns out, you can’t even take the girl out
Of the South. A good porch is hard to leave,
& that’s the truth. Gardenias & a hand-rolled smoke.
A fingerbone of moon tapping at the screen door. Who
You’re looking for depends on who wants to know. You know,
I have a cotton dress & a closed-mouth smile for any occasion.
from “Get Lost" by Amy Woolard
The Oxford American has been the champion of a Southern literary tradition in which names such as William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Cormac McCarthy loom very large. But literature is not a museum; new writers emerge and the tradition evolves.
Roger Hodge, Oxford American's new head editor, on the role of the magazine.
"There are also cracks in the specific G&G lifestyle that is so thunderously advocated. Add up all these gorgeous pictures of fox hunts, mint juleps, turkey hunts, polo matches, refurbished mansions, forest-sized gardens, pure-bred beagles, expensive fishing reels, silver flasks, artisanal knifes, engraved rifles, sexy riding crops, and what do you get but a near-replaying of The Old South Plantation Myth? Of course, the Myth is being updated so that it’s greener (“conservation” is a G&G catchphrase), sportier (everyone is an “avid sportsman”—phew—and not an actual plantation owner), hipper, younger, sexier, wittier—and on better terms with gender and race. But the New Myth still toys with much that is unspoken.
G&G falsifies the South it purports to cover, because a South without SEC football, politics, and religion is a false South. How can one miss this?”