Study Guide

Southern Gothic Timeline

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How It All Went Down

1839: Edgar Allan Poe publishes "The Fall of the House of Usher"

Poe, a writer from the South, will influence the Southern Gothic writers who come after him with his dark and daring short stories full of the grotesque and the macabre.

1861: Confederate warships bombard Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, North Carolina

Well, folks, it's the beginning of the Civil War. The South will never be the same.

1865: The last major Confederate army surrenders to the Union

Lo and behold, it's the end of the Civil War, and the South has lost. Slavery is over, and life is going to be different south of the Mason-Dixon line from now on.

1929: William Faulkner publishes The Sound and the Fury

With this novel, Faulkner ushers in the age of Southern Gothic.

1936: William Faulkner publishes Absalom, Absalom!

How prolific is this dude? Within a span of a few years, he's managed to write and publish a bunch of novels; this is one of his most important.

1940: Carson McCullers publishes The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

At the age of 23, McCullers is the hottest young writer around, thanks to this super successful debut novel set in a Southern town.

1947: Tennessee Williams publishes A Streetcar Named Desire

Did someone say a young, sexy Marlon Brando in a tight white T-shirt?

1955: Tennessee Williams publishes Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Williams wins his second Pulitzer Prize for this play about a dysfunctional Southern family.

1955: Flannery O'Connor publishes A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories

This is the dark and funny collection that made O'Connor famous and established her as one of the greatest short story writers in American literature.

1960: Harper Lee publishes To Kill a Mockingbird

This courtroom drama about racial injustice in the South became a runaway hit. Lee never wrote another novel again, but she said it all here.

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