Reading Matters

When did Southern fiction ever fall off the map?

In the mail arrived a review copy of a forthcoming novel, “Let Me Die in His Footsteps,” by Lori Roy, who lives in St. Pete, Fla.

With the copy, an attached note from an editor at Dutton: “This is a book that will put Southern Fiction back on the map. I hope you’ll consider.”

Excuse me?

Southern fiction fell off the map?

When? I didn’t know.

What about Ron Rash, Lee Smith, Kim Church, Pat Conroy, Wiley Cash, David Joy, Jon Sealy, Charles Frazier, Harper Lee?


OK. I’ll take a look. “Let Me Die,” set in the Kentucky hills of 1936, is based on a true hanging in the small town of Owensboro. The case drew national attention, rounding up 20,000 people from around the country to witness the execution.