The Literature of the Ozarks: An Anthology



The job of regional literature is twofold: to explore and confront the culture from within, and to help define that culture for outsiders. Taken together, the two centuries of Ozarks literature collected in this ambitious anthology do just that. The fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama presented in The Literature of the Ozarks complicate assumptions about backwoods ignorance, debunk the pastoral myth, expand on the meaning of wilderness, and position the Ozarks as a crossroads of human experience with meaningful ties to national literary movements.

Among the authors presented here are an Osage priest, an early explorer from New York, a native-born farm wife, African American writers who protested attacks on their communities, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and an art history professor who created a fictional town and a postmodern parody of the region's stereotypes.

The Literature of the Ozarks establishes a canon as nuanced and varied as the region's writers themselves.

Product Details

University of Arkansas Press
Publish Date
February 25, 2019
6.0 X 0.7 X 9.0 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Phillip Douglas Howerton is a sixth-generation Ozarker and professor of English at Missouri State University-West Plains. He is co-editor of Cave Region Review, general editor of Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozarks Studies, and the author of a poetry collection, The History of Tree Roots.


"The Literature of the Ozarks is an inspired collection that manages, like an Ozark river, to be both broad and deep in its scope. The anthology moves in chronological and thematic order and offers a range of known and not-so-well-known writers. From the backwoods rambles of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft to the contemporary world of Daniel Woodrell, readers will be absorbed in the history of the Ozark Mountains and captivated by the voices and visions of the writers collected here."
--Brian Hardman, University of the Ozarks
"Howerton has done yeoman's work here. You can read through the anthology slowly, savoring every entry, and when you're done, you'll have a thorough understanding of who Vance Randolph and Harold Bell Wright were, and who is valiantly carrying on their work. The Literature of the Ozarks would seem to be a logical text for any course on Ozarks literature or history, and it belongs in every library."
--John Mort, Down Along the Piney