Meredith Edwards is a junior at Furman University majoring in English and French. She hails from Pendleton, South Carolina, a town known by its residents for dusty antique stores and heavily enforced single-digit speed limits. The first distinctly Southern novel she read was The Sound and the Fury, a work of art that so much disoriented her that it made her ill and which she foolishly dismissed offhand for no other reason than not being able to understand it. Despite this early trauma, she revisited Faulkner a second time with Absalom! Absalom! and since has come to admire the beauty and madness of his prose. Besides Faulkner, she counts John Kennedy Toole and Flannery O’Connor among her favorite Southern writers. Beyond that genre, she enjoys reading David Foster Wallace, Karen Russell, and W.G. Sebald. In her spare time, she likes to cook, listen to the occasional episode of “This American Life,” and gaze in wonderment at pictures of the new Duchess of Cambridge. She hopes to have a job when she graduates from college.
Allen Mendenhall is associate dean at Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center. His books include Literature and Liberty (2014), Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Pragmatism, and the Jurisprudence of Agon (2017), The Southern Philosopher: Collected Essays of John William Corrington (2017) (editor), and Lines from a Southern Lawyer (2017). Visit his website at AllenMendenhall.com.