Cold in July begins in the dark with something ticking. The scene is a modest living-room, and you notice a clock on a shelf, but the rhythm sounds mismatched with it: it limps along, ti-tick, ti-tick, like an old truck’s indicator, or the timer on a home-made bomb.
At the end of Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” The Misfit, an escaped convict who’s just ordered an entire family shot dead, denies that murdering the doddering old lady who frantically tried to save his soul brought him joy: “Shut up, Bobby Lee. It’s no real pleasure in life.”
O’Connor’s Southern Gothic stories were full of grotesque violence, but Catholic ideals of redemption always lurked in background. Murder, as The Misfit claims, is “no real pleasure.”
New English literature GCSE ditches American classics for pre-20th century British authors such as Dickens and Austen
Abandoned plantation houses, eccentric aunts, and a flair for the dramatic–the more outlandish, the better in the South. it’s no coincidence an entire genre was inspired by our quirks, captured as only Southerners can. Southern Gothic, based in literature and still thriving in pop culture, is packed with mystery, eccentricity, and the supernatural. From the shriek of a haunting bird in Virginian Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Raven" to the conniving Louisiana vampires on HBO’s True Blood, it’s a tradition full of big characters, rooted in the geography of our land.
Southern Gothic playwriting in Philadelphia theater has no better friend or practitioner than Jacqueline Goldfinger. Since her arrival in 2008, the Tallahassee, Fla., native – who came here when her cellular biologist husband Larry got a job at Temple University – has displayed a knack for blackly comic eccentricity, decay, and alienation the wretched likes of which haven’t been seen since William Faulkner.
How long does it take to write a novel? “A hack writer can tell,” William Faulkner once said. “’As I Lay Dying’ took six weeks. ‘The Sound and The Fury’ took three years.”
Twelve-year-old Easter Quillby has learned to keep her expectations low in order to protect herself from more disappointment in life. It’s a coping mechanism she developed to keep her and her 6-year-old sister, Ruby, safe after their mom unexpectedly passed away. But when their estranged dad kidnaps them from foster care, they’re forced to live in the middle of his past and present mistakes — all the while trying to figure out what family is supposed to mean.