Student Question

What is the definition of a regional author?

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A regional author is one who writes of his or her own region in his or her own particular time. All works by each of these authors are generally set in the same kinds of places, contain characters which reflect the attitudes of the time, and utilize dialect authentic to them. That means their characters are generally realistic, as well. In regional writing, the setting as well as the customs of the characters are integral to the themes. In other words, the story would not be effective in any other time or place or with any other types of characters.

One familiar example of a regional writer is Mark Twain, particularly his most popular works Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer set near the Mississippi where Twain grew up. Another familiar regional author is William Faulkner; Flannery O'Connor is another. Both of them are writers of the South, and their works reflect a rather gothic southern world. Sarah Orne Jewett and Bret Harte are also considered regional writers, each setting their works in the places they know. Regional writers generally exhibit a devastating realism and deep understanding of their characters and settings.

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