Saving the Life That Is Your Own: Southern Women Writers' Great Migrations

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his article examines the phenomenon of recent southern women writers’ migrations out of the South and, in some cases, their reverse migrations back home. Beginning in the early 1980s, some southern writers, like Alice Walker and Dorothy Allison, began to examine their own outward migrations in their writing, citing the multiple oppressions of gender, race, class, and sexuality that determined their journeys. For them, leaving the South was a crucial decision that enabled and enriched their work. More recently, however, other women writers, like Tayari Jones and Jesmyn Ward, have returned to the South to “write about home from home.” In texts by Walker, Allison, Ward, and others, these migrations are an important way to understand women’s intersectional experiences in, understandings of, and relationships with the South in the decades surrounding the turn of the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSouthern Cultures
Early online date01 Oct 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 01 Oct 2020


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