I have been thinking recently of trying to add some Civil War-related fiction into my reading, to help expand my perspective on the perception and "image" of the war.
A couple of months ago, I did read a modern novel called March as part of a program at a local library. I also read some bits and pieces of other works in an anthology for that program and with my fairly recent introduction to the concept of Civil War memory, I am starting to wonder what I am missing by having read so little fiction over the years. Is there more to be learned or gained from reading that style of writing? Creating A Confederate Kentucky offered a couple of examples of works of fiction that reflected the feelings of many Kentuckians about the state's role in the war. Such books may not create imagery or memory of the war, but if they reflect what people feel, is it important to try to understand those reflections?
I have never read a lot of fiction or historical fiction. In college, I did read Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Killer Angels and enjoyed both. I am thinking about one of those as a possibility, though admittedly Stowe's work is not technically a Civil War book. Would re-reading these be worth it? That was over 15 years ago, so I certainly would have a different approach upon re-reading those then I did so long ago.
Red Badge of Courage is a famous book that I've never read, yet have heard is a very good book. Maybe I should find a copy of it and add that to the list of ones I have read.
I do have a book of short stories written by Ambrose Bierce and I did read some excerpts from him in the anthology mentioned above.
What other such books should I consider, either older books, such as late nineteenth century, or even more modern novels like March? Are there any "must reads" or classics that I'm not aware of or am forgetting? I think I'll still focus mostly on non-fiction, but maybe adding at least an occasional bit of variety into my reading can give me a wider perspective not just on the war, but on how it is portrayed and remembered as well.
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