Regional fiction took the world by storm in the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th century, and put American writers on the world literary map. The authors’ immediate surroundings are so strongly represented in these works, traditional boundaries of setting and character get a little blurred—place becomes character.
Regional fiction has since been declared a distinctly American literary form, and the heart of Contemporary American Literature.
My list of favorite regional fiction writers did not necessarily focus their entire careers on regional fiction, nor are they exclusively American. I think of Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, the later western environmentalist writers of the U.S., sure, but also Canadian authors, Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro, as well as a lengthy list of British and European authors who brought the landscapes and all the sentimentalities of their hometown folk to life on the page.
Though famous regional works do tend to reign in…
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