Book Reviews of Downhome: An Anthology of Southern Women Writers

Downhome: An Anthology of Southern Women Writers
Downhome An Anthology of Southern Women Writers
ISBN-13: 9780156001212
ISBN-10: 0156001217
Publication Date: 10/13/1995
Pages: 497

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Publisher: Harcourt
Book Type: Paperback
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From School Library Journal
YA?A powerful collection of short stories by Southern female writers, from Eudora Welty and Zora Neale Hurston to Ellen Gilchrist and Dorothy Allison. Written in a time period spanning several decades, the selections reflect the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of Southern life. They also tap into the darker side of Southern life. They deal with the superficial roles women are expected to play as they hide their problems behind social niceties; the racial tensions of blacks and whites co-existing in a society of inequities and accepted myths; the nuances of the "caste system" that dominate social interactions; and the taboos and inhibitions associated with sexual behaviors. The female characters engage in courtships, marry, and experience happiness or despair in their relationships. They find solace or bondage in their religion, and finally deal with death. The unifying theme, however, is the sense of place, of belonging to something larger than self, of "downhome." Mee prefaces each of these thematic sections with an analysis of its central theme and brief comments on the stories found in the section, resulting in a somewhat academic tone.?Glenda Decker, Lee High School, Springfield,