Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
American Gothic

A term used generally to describe writers of the US South, like William Faulkner (1897-1962) and Truman Capote (1924-1984). However universal the implications of their work, AG authors tend to be thought of as regional and their works tend to give off a sense of Belatedness. In their case, however, the anxiety of influence seems to relate more strongly to the Bondage of the soil than to the fatherly burden of prior writers. Later figures, like James Purdy (1914-2009) and Joyce Carol Oates, though not from the South, generate some similar effects, but AG in fantasy is generally associated with Southern writers like Manly Wade Wellman and Sharyn McCrumb. The influence of AG is strongly felt in Supernatural Fiction, and specifically in Horror. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.