in the 20th Century
Alabama's considerable contribution to the famed twentieth-century "Southern literary renascence" is particularly impressive in the second half of the century. Modern and contemporary Alabama authors have written uniquely and universally about the major issues, events, and circumstances of their times. Some examples:
- The Story of My Life (1903) by Helen Keller, an internationally famous autobiography published at the beginning of the century.
- Sweet Mystery (1996) by Judith Paterson and All Over but the Shoutin' (1997) by Rick Bragg among the latest in a long line of nationally acclaimed autobiographical writing from Alabama during the past hundred years.
- Company K (1933) by William March, called the most powerful World War I novel written by an American.
- The Weight of the Cross (1951) by Robert Bowen, a novel, and With the Old Breed at Peleliu and
Okinawa (1981) by Eugene Sledge, a memoir, about combat on the Pacific front in World War II.
- Novels about the Vietnam War: Better Times Than These (1978) by Winston Groom and The
Short-Timers (1979) by Gustav Hasford.
- Looking back: The Long Night (1936) by Andrew Lytle (a novel) and After the Lost War (1988) by Andrew Hudgins (poems), about the Civil War.
- Among much Alabama fiction emerging out of the issues and events of the Civil Rights Movement, three particularly notable, quite different, novels:
- To Kill A Mockingbird (1960), Harper Lee's world-renowned book, set in the Depression and "Scottsboro Case" 1930s.
- Set during the Civil Rights Movement: The Last of the Whitfields (1962) by Elise Sanguinetti (essentially a comedy), and A Cry of Absence (1971) by Madison Jones (classically a tragedy).
Social and Family Life, Urban and Rural Life
- About Mobile: Eugene Walter's The Untidy Pilgrim (1953).
- About Birmingham: Sam Hodges's B-Four (1992).
- About rural and small-town Alabama: Truman Capote's "Children on Their Birthdays" (1948) and A Christmas Memory (1966), Mary Ward Brown's Tongues of Flame (1986), and Helen Norris's "The Cracker Man" (1992).