Sitting there, smiling nervously at the people rooting in their grease-spotted brown bags, I raced through the characteristics I’d memorized ten years before in a southern lit class: a sense of the living presence of the past; love of landscape and the natural world; cruel humor; a preoccupation with religion, family, violence, race, and the grotesque. I was bemused to discover that I and my writing possessed every item on my memorized list. Not most of them. All of them.
– from “Alabama Breakdown” by Andrew Hudgins, published in The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers, edited by Jay Lamar and Jeanie Thompson