About Scott ThompsonLike many people Scott Thompson had a story to tell. His formal training was in business and computers, not writing, but he knew the story had to be told so he wrote Young Men Shall See.
Thompson's stories are influenced by his life in Georgia, where he grew up and currently lives. The South is full of interesting, deep, and often eccentric people that enrich the lives of anyone lucky enough to know the people of the region. It was these people that spurred the author's imagination from a young age.
Scott is married and has two young boys. Scott holds degrees in computer information systems, business administration, and history.
Scott is a winner of the Great American Novel contest, from Tag Publishing, for 2010.
Why We Still Need Southern Literature ~ By Scott Thompson
With the recent deaths of Harry Crews and William Gay some have speculated that Southern Literature is dead. In April, a highly respected author, Baynard Woods, wrote in TheMillions.com that we should “kill off the genre, sacrificing the adjective “Southern” for the sake of what really matters here, which is Literature.” At first it’s difficult to disagree with Mr. Woods because it seems that we should celebrate good books for the writing and not the genre. Genres can keep people from reading a book simply because it doesn’t fall into their area of interest. Some will never read anything labeled as “Southern Literature” just like some will never read anything that is labeled as “Chick Lit” or “Horror” or whatever, and by doing this those people might avoid great books. So, I understand Mr. Woods’ argument.
But even still, we do need Southern Literature. We need it in the same way African Americans need books that cater to situations only they can truly understand. I was born and raised in Georgia and I need books that speak to me personally. Southern Literature is needed because it helps Southerners better understand who we are, and helps us understand and process the emotions of growing up and living in a world that is still healing and evolving. We will need Southern Literature a hundred years from now to explore where we came from, how we have changed, and what changes are still needed.
Good books have the ability to bring to the surface problems we are ignoring or denying. To Kill a Mockingbird is a book revered by many. It is a beautiful novel that exposed real problems in society and helped to further change. Should we now forget this book because much of the change has taken place? Should be never write another book about Alabama’s past? No, of course not. We must continue to explore what was wrong about the South, and what was right, because there was plenty that was right.
Southern Literature shouldn’t just be about blasting Southerners for our mistakes, but also for highlighting all the things that are right. Characteristics we may lose if we forget. I hope Southerners will always regard family highly. I hope Southerners will always love the land. I hope Southerners will always be the type of people that will pull their car over and help a person change a tire. I hope Southerners never forget how to pray, even as religion and faith evolve. I hope there are always eccentric Southerners that make us smile, and that inspire us all.
So, books about the South are needed. They are needed to remind us of the past, to show us where we still need to change, and to show us what we was good. There may be a day when “Southern” should be dropped from new books, but I don’t see that any time soon.
Wow! Thanks, Scott!
I have to say, I agree 100% with the guest post that Scott was awesome enough to write for me. Born and bred in NC, I am a Southern Girl, and proud of it!
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you can sit on your front porch and wave at your neighbors passing by, catching fireflies on a warm Spring night, or walking out your back door to fish on your pond.
Come back tomorrow for my review of Young Men Shall See,
and on Friday for a chance to win a signed copy of the book for yourself!