The online magazine Guernica has a special edition dedicated to the American South, with contributions from both Southerners and settlers. A feature in which 15 of them reflect on region, culture and mindset includes a hilarious piece from Tom Piazza (author of the post-Hurricane book Why New Orleans Matters) in which he and his dog revolt against stereotyping.
One of the shortest of the 15 pieces is from Bill Cheng, a Chinese-American from New York, who apologises for his presumption in setting a novel in the South. He needn’t, of course. In his debut Southern Cross the Dog, he transports his readers to the swamplands of Mississippi at the time of the Great Flood of 1927. It’s a remarkable feat — all the more so when you consider that Cheng had never set foot in the South.