In the literary genre known as Southern Gothic, writers dip into the fantastic, the grotesque and the macabre because that’s just the way things are down here. Not were, but are — as in the South as it is, and ever was, and as it ever shall be, world without end.

Amen to that. Living in the South, you see, it’s hard to write for very long without splicing in some scripture. There’s a reason God and Jesus are so popular here. History without redemption would be a tough fate. How does one face the guilt of slavery without a shot at forgiveness and rebirth?