There's no denying that Southern authors are uniquely bound to their home turf just think about the kind of writer William Faulkner might have become if he'd been born someplace besides Mississippi. In Writers of the American South: Their Literary Landscapes, the remarkable relationship between Southern authors and their native soil comes alive as 12 popular novelists take readers on a tour of their home regions, revealing what they love best about the towns where they live and providing fascinating insights into their domestic routines and work habits. Pat Conroy, Barry Hannah, Josephine Humphreys and Ann Patchett, among other authors, demonstrate some good old-fashioned hospitality and offer fans a peek inside their private residences. From the majestic, museum-like manor with gothic accents maintained by Allan Gurganus in Falls, North Carolina, to the two-story hurricane-proof bunker bright, airy and built on stilts overlooking Florida Bay, where Carl Hiaasen does his work, each place is unforgettable in its own way.

Acclaimed architectural writer Hugh Howard provided the volume's delightful text, while Roger Straus III son of the publishing giant who co-founded Farrar, Straus and Giroux contributed elegant, evocative photos. With 21 stops on their itinerary, including the estates of late authors like Kate Chopin and Flannery O'Connor, the pair traveled more than 10,000 miles to complete the book. The result: a magnificent showcase of the places Southern writers call home and a loving act of literary preservation.

Julie Hale keeps her old copies of The New Yorker in Austin, Texas.

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