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Friday, August 27, 2010

Fiction of Place – The Southwest

Since I recently wrote about regional fiction of the South and New England, it seems appropriate to extend the topic. Over the years, I’ve made numerous trips to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area in New Mexico. For a Connecticut Yankee like me, it was eye-opening. In addition to a clear, azure sky and red, red rock that stretches for miles, its culture and history have little in common with the East Coast. In the Southwest, three peoples – the Spanish, Mexicans and Native Americans – merged to create a place like no other in the U.S.

Fiction of the regional reflects this unique identity, and as with the South and New England there are some classics. Willa Cather’s Death Comes to the Archbishop, Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, Edward Abbey’s The Monkey-Wrench Gang and the mysteries of Tony Hillerman come to mind.

Here’s a few more, you may want to try:

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols

Redeye by Clyde Edgerton

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko

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