Dixie Chicks

Books featuring strong southern women. There are several nonfiction titles indicated with NF. Compiled by the subscribers of the Fiction_L mailing list.

Dorothy Allison. Bastard Out of Carolina
This fiercely moving, unforgettable first novel tells the story of Ruth Anne Boatwright--called Bone by her family--a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. Bone's story is inseparable from that of her family, the notorious Boatwright clan.
Tina McElroy Ansa. Baby of the Family and others
From the moment of her birth, a child has the power to see ghosts and predict the future. But only one nurse knows the spells to ensure that Lena will see good ghosts, not evil ones.
David Baldacci. Wish You Well
In 1940 a tragedy sends two young children, Lou and her little brother, Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia to live with their great-grandmother. The story is told with both heartbreaking elegance and large doses of touching humor as the lives of Lou and Oz are forever changed.
Lois Battle. Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle
A funny, heartfelt, and poignant novel about the surprising power of a group of small-town women when the local lingerie factory closes its doors.
Rita Mae Brown. Southern Discomfort and others
Meet Hortensia Reedmuller Banastre, a beautiful woman entrenched on old money, white magnolia and a loveless marriage--until she meets an utterly gorgeous young prizefighter. Amid memorable characters, Hortensia struggles to survive the hurricane of emotions caused by her scandalous love. How she ultimately triumphs is a touching and beautiful human drama--an intense and exuberant affair of the heart.
Jill Conner Browne. God Save the Sweet Potato Queens
In 1999, Jill Conner Browne, royal boss of Jackson, Mississippi's own glorious Sweet Potato Queens, introduced them to the world in the hilarious bestseller The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love (which contained everything you ever need to know about Love, Life, Men, Marriage, and the importance of Being Prepared). But, fortunately for us, that was not the final chapter in the Queen's splendid saga. The Sweet Potato Queens still have plenty of stuff to say and valuable wisdom to impart about how they went from being Cute Girls to Fabulous Women. NF
Olive Ann Burns. Cold Sassy Tree
The unforgettable characters of Cold Sassy, Georgia, are presented in this heartwarming story of modern times coming to a small Southern town.
Sarah & Annie Delaney. Having Our Say
Warm, feisty, and intelligent, the Delany sisters speak their mind in a book that is at once a vital historical record and a moving portrait of two remarkable women who continued to love, laugh, and embrace life after over 100 years of living side by side. Their sharp memories show readers the post-Reconstruction South and Booker T, Washington; Harlem's Golden Age and Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, and Paul Robeson. Bessie breaks barriers to become a dentist; Sadie quietly integrates the New York City system as a school teacher. NF
Clyde Edgerton. Walking Across Egypt and Raney
Mattie Rigsbee is seventy-eight. She lives by herself in Listre, North Carolina (near Bethel). She claims she's "slowing down", but she still cuts her own grass and runs the Lottie Moon missions fund drive at Listre Baptist Church. This is the scene into which Edgerton drops Wesley Benfield -- adolescent, illegitimate, and delinquent, with a mouth full of foul language and bad teeth and a craving for good food.
Fannie Flagg. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and others
Tells the tale of two women and the cafe they ran in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering barbecue, coffee, love, laughter--and an occasional murder.
James Fox. Five Sisters
The author of the bestselling "White Mischief" tells the story of the beautiful Langhorne sisters who lived at the center of high and powerful society from the end of the Civil War through the Second World War. As they made their way across two continents, the five women acquired rich husbands, fame, and scandals. NF
Dorthea Benton Frank. Plantation
Caroline Wembly Levine always swore she'd never go home again. But she's returned to South Carolina at her brother's behest to see about their mother. Miss Lavinia is as maddenly eccentric as ever, and absolutely will not suffer the questionable advice of her children. Caroline soon discovers that this trip home is different.
Ernest J. Gaines. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Fictional biography of a Black slave, who lived for 100 years after the Civil War.
Anne George. Murder on a Girl's Night Out
Country Western is hot these days, so impulsive Mary Alice thinks it makes sense to buy the Skoot 'n' Boot bar. Her sister, Patricia Anne, disagrees -- especially when they find a dead body dangling in the pub's wishing well. The sheriff questions the sisters, who were the last people, besides the murderer, to see the victim alive. Now a killer is sending them threatening messages.
Kaye Gibbons. Charms for the Easy Life
In the verdant backwoods of North Carolina, in a sad and singular era, the Birches are unique among women of their time -- living gloriously rich if decidedly offbeat lives in a private world abandoned by men. And though misery often beats a path to their door, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter Margaret possess charms to ward off loneliness and despair -- thanks to the uncompromising strength, uncommon wisdom, and muscular love of a remarkable matriarch and self-taught healer who calls herself Charlie Kate.
Allan Gurganus. Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All
The tale of 99-year-old Lucy Marsden, married at the turn of the last century, when she was 15 and her husband was 50. She became a "veteran of the veteran" with a unique history of Southern history and Southern manhood.
Zora Neal Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person-- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.
Barbara Kingsolver. Prodigal Summer
In a beautiful hymn to wildness, Kingsolver celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature and of nature itself. Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate takes over the countryside, the novel's characters find their connections to one another in the forested mountains of southern Appalachia.
Virginia Lanier. Death in Bloodhound Red (series)
Jo Beth Siddon is a bloodhound trainer with a special talent for harrowing search-and-rescue missions, and a bad habit of mouthing off to deputies who refuse to take orders from a woman. When she's suspected or murder, she finds herself treading a quagmire as thick and treacherous as the Okefenokee Swamp, trying to prove her innocence and maintain the independence and freedom she's fought for all her life.
Harper Lee. To Kill A Mockingbird
The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice.
Jill McCorkle. Carolina Moon
Fulton, North Carolina, gets pretty quiet during the off season. But this peaceful surface is about to crack wide open. In the course of this richly detailed novel - which includes six parallel love stories and an unsolved murder mystery.
Sharyn McCrumb. If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him
Elizabeth MacPherson, Southern sleuth and forensic anthropologist, investigates a pair of murders for her brother's Virginia law firm.
Carson McCullers. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
A sensitive teenage girl discovers the meaning of loneliness.
Margaret Maron. Bootlegger's Daughter (series)
Unconventional, North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott has done the unthinkable: tossed her hat into the heated race for district judge of old-boy-ruled Colleton County. While she's defending indigent clients and reeling in voters, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to investigate her mother's never-solved eighteen-year-old murder. Deborah takes on the case: following twisted Southern bloodlines; turning up dangerous, decades-old secrets; and inspiring someone to go on an all-out campaign to derail her future . . .
Margaret Mitchell. Gone with the Wind
A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.
Gloria Naylor. Mama Day and others
On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the island's darker forces. A powerful generational saga at once tender and suspenseful, overflowing with magic and common sense.
Charles Portis. True Grit
Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Arkansas, sets out in the winter of 1870-something to avenge the murder of her father.
Reynolds Price. Kate Vaiden
This bestselling chronicle of a lifetime of joy and sadness--narrated by the feisty, irrepressible woman who lived it--"is a wise and wonderful story told by an artist at the peak of his powers" ("Chicago Tribune").
Ann B. Ross. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
Southern gentleman Wesley Lloyd Springer passes away and leaves his wife two legacies: his sizable estate and his bastard son. Now this longtime pillar of the community finds herself in the center of an unseemly scandal--and the guardian of a wan nine-year-old whose mere presence will turn her life upside down.
Sarah Shankman. I Still Miss My Man But My Aim Is Getting Better and others
Finishing her waitressing shift and preparing for Songwriters' Night at the local country music club, promising singer Shelby Kay Tate becomes the unknowing target of an obsessive stalker.
Anne Rivers Siddons. Low Country
The empowering story of Caroline Aubrey Gentry, who discovers that her tycoon husband plans to build a resort on a beautiful untouched island in South Carolina's low country, which results in her life-changing fight to save an island of wild ponies.
Deborah Smith. On Bear Mountain
Little do dirt-poor Ursula Powell and wealthy Quentin Riconni know that a strange, abstract sculpture will draw them together. The sculpture, which now sits in the backyard of Ursula's secluded mountain farm, is worth a fortune. When Quentin leaves New York for the small Southern town to reclaim his father's sculpture, what he discovers is that when it comes to the heart, destiny and fate, the price paid cannot be measured in millions.
Lee Smith. Fair and Tender Ladies
Returning to Appalachia, Lee Smith, author of Oral History, creates an unforgettable heroine: Ivy Rowe. From girlhood to old age, Ivy nourishes her family with her passion, imagination, and strength.
Adriana Trigiani. Big Stone Gap
It's 1978, and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life.
Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Irish Eyes (Callahan Garrity series)
As her former partner, police detective Bucky Deavers, lies in a coma after a St. Patrick's Day shooting, Garrity investigates the crime and the subsequent murder of another cop. She soon discovers links to an Irish police fraternity and must pierce its veil of secrecy while keeping herself out of harm's way.
Alice Walker. The Color Purple
This landmark work is Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that also won the American Book Award and established her as a major voice in modern fiction. The New York Times Book Review hailed its "intense emotional impact", and the San Francisco Chronicle called it "a work to stand beside literature of any time and place".
Margaret Walker. Jubilee
This stunningly different Civil War novel boasts a heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Daughter of the white plantation owner and his beloved black mistress, Vyry was conceived, born and reared to womanhood behind the House. Steeped in knowledge of and feeling for the times and the people, JUBILEE is a magnificent tale told with devastating truth.
Rebecca Wells. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
When theatre director Siddalee Walker inadvertently reveals some of the less-savory facts of her Louisiana childhood to the New York Times, the article brands her morther, Vivi, a "tap-dancing child abuser." Vivi virtually disowns Sidda, but the Ya -Yas sashay in and conspire to bring everybody back together.