Spend any amount of time in the South and you’re bound to see it (or a variation) on a bumper sticker: “The South Will Rise Again!” It’s usually accompanied by a Confederate flag.
When it comes to Young Adult literature and its writers, I can say this:
It already has.
(Minus the Confederate flags.)
A number of Southern YA authors have even landed in the top 10 on best sellers’ lists, and continue to be mainstays of the genre. Others are lesser-known, but their contributions should be lauded just the same.
Just take a look at this (incomplete) list:
- Myra McEntire: Tennessee
- Lauren Kate: Texas, Georgia
- Maggie Stiefvater: Virginia
- R.A. Nelson: Alabama
- John Corey Whaley: Louisiana
- Kami Garcia: Washington DC (family from North Carolina)
- Katie Crouch: South Carolina
- Kelly Keaton: North Carolina
- Stephanie Perkins: North Carolina
- Carrie Ryan: North Carolina
- Helen Ellis: Alabama
- Lauren Myracle: North Carolina, Georgia
- Jackson Pearce: Georgia
- Rosemary Clement-Moore: Texas
- Jennifer Echols: Alabama
- Chandra Sparks Taylor: Alabama
- Rachel Hawkins: Virginia and Alabama
- Abbi Glines: Alabama
- Joyce Scarbrough: Alabama
- Lee Ann Ward: Alabama
There are many, many more, but the above list gives you some idea of the talent found south of the Mason-Dixon line. Many writers may no longer reside in the South, but were born and raised here. That indescribable quality known as “Southern” was transferred in utero, and even if they’ve fled to the West Coast or New York or wherever it is that authors are supposed to come from, they share the uniqueness of “Southern” through their works.
I know I missed many, many authors. Who would you add?