A Shelter of Others: A Novel with Critical Introduction to the American Rough South Literary Tradition

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Summer 2014


This document proposes a course of study integrating research and creative study of the contemporary American literary tradition commonly referred to as "Rough South." The creative portion affirms the attentiveness to social problems and class conflict found in the representative body of literary work that is defined broadly as belonging to the "Grit Lit" or "Rough South" tradition. Special attention is paid to the economic pressures and violent motifs that characterize this school of writing. Additionally, the role of the natural environment with special attention to the concept of the sublime is figured into a reading of outer and inner geographies. The role of traditional masculinity norms and their place in the shifting economies of the works is explored as a means of understanding this writing and what it has to say about social stratification and individual opportunity in a post-globalist American South. In contrast, there is a consideration of the more measured social novel that exists contemporaneously with books of the Rough South, where character conflicts and thematic explorations are expressed outside of brute violence and the general condition of being in extremis.


Hunter Hayes

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature