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A Word From Paul:

Southern stories, Southern writers, Southern writing, are indeed a study: From the fiction of Joel Chandler Harris to Margaret Mitchell and Caroline Gordon to Tom Wolfe, John Grisham and James Kibler. From the essays of the Vanderbilt Agrarians to Clyde Wilson (THE authority on John C. Calhoun), the richness of Southern literature has been a devotion of my lifelong education. To love Magnolias and Roses is not to love flowers, it is to love beauty. And like these two, Southern Literature sometimes is pure and white, and sometimes dark red with thorns. But in my world, all, and both are striking, and didactic, and beautiful.

I once told a friend that there were three books every Southerner should have in his library: Gone with the Wind, I'll Take My Stand, and the Bible. I did comment: "Not necessarily in that order." It isn't the case that all Southern prose, from Virginia to Texas, is captured by these. But they do reach into the Southern soul for a view of life, past present and future. And that is what I want to write and read about: the South and its life: past, present and future. The South is more than worthy of study.

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