Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford’s series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in “their” state.

Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard’s “In Zanesville,” respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in South Carolina from Goodreads. Whether you’re looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you’re looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you’re already familiar with, we’ve got you covered.

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The Secret Life of Bees

– Rating: 4.08 (1.2 million ratings)
– Author: Sue Monk Kidd
– Published: November 8, 2001
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Classics
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The Prince of Tides

– Rating: 4.24 (202,850 ratings)
– Author: Pat Conroy
– Published: January 1, 1986
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Southern, Romance
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Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 4.00 (6,207 ratings)
– Author: Susan M. Boyer
– Published: September 13, 2012
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Southern
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South of Broad

– Rating: 3.82 (45,840 ratings)
– Author: Pat Conroy
– Published: August 11, 2009
– Genres: Fiction, Southern, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
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The Water is Wide

– Rating: 4.15 (22,775 ratings)
– Author: Pat Conroy
– Published: January 1, 1972
– Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Education
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The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1)

– Rating: 4.00 (23,960 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: November 4, 2008
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
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Lowcountry Boneyard (Liz Talbot Mystery, #3)

– Rating: 4.28 (3,015 ratings)
– Author: Susan M. Boyer
– Published: April 21, 2015
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Southern
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Lowcountry Bombshell (A Liz Talbot Mystery, #2)

– Rating: 4.10 (3,798 ratings)
– Author: Susan M. Boyer
– Published: August 29, 2013
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Southern
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The Lords of Discipline

– Rating: 4.32 (26,767 ratings)
– Author: Pat Conroy
– Published: January 1, 1980
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Military Fiction, Southern
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Beach Music

– Rating: 4.17 (47,261 ratings)
– Author: Pat Conroy
– Published: July 2, 1995
– Genres: Fiction, Southern, Contemporary, Historical Fiction
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The Girl On Legare Street (Tradd Street, #2)

– Rating: 4.11 (14,985 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: November 3, 2009
– Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Fiction, Romance
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The Underground Railroad

– Rating: 4.05 (363,522 ratings)
– Author: Colson Whitehead
– Published: August 2, 2016
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Audiobook
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Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot Mystery #5)

– Rating: 4.18 (2,629 ratings)
– Author: Susan M. Boyer
– Published: July 5, 2016
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Southern
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Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

– Rating: 3.76 (579,020 ratings)
– Author: Kami Garcia
– Published: December 1, 2009
– Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
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Sullivan’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)

– Rating: 4.06 (21,012 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: January 1, 1999
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Southern
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Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 3.73 (10,459 ratings)
– Author: Laura Childs
– Published: May 1, 2001
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
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The Strangers on Montagu Street (Tradd Street, #3)

– Rating: 4.21 (12,040 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: November 1, 2011
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
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Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #4)

– Rating: 4.22 (10,643 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: January 7, 2014
– Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Fiction, Romance
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The Invention of Wings

– Rating: 4.25 (296,936 ratings)
– Author: Sue Monk Kidd
– Published: January 7, 2014
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Book Club
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The Indigo Girl

– Rating: 4.22 (33,106 ratings)
– Author: Natasha Boyd
– Published: October 3, 2017
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Audiobook
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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

– Rating: 3.83 (136,024 ratings)
– Author: Grady Hendrix
– Published: April 7, 2020
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, Vampires
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Pawleys Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5)

– Rating: 4.13 (10,165 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: May 3, 2005
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Southern, Romance
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Bastard Out of Carolina

– Rating: 4.12 (41,930 ratings)
– Author: Dorothy Allison
– Published: March 1, 1992
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Southern, Coming Of Age
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Sweetgrass

– Rating: 4.14 (7,484 ratings)
– Author: Mary Alice Monroe
– Published: July 1, 2005
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Southern, Chick Lit
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North and South (North and South, #1)

– Rating: 4.20 (59,886 ratings)
– Author: John Jakes
– Published: January 1, 1982
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Civil War, Historical
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Saints at the River

– Rating: 3.83 (3,968 ratings)
– Author: Ron Rash
– Published: August 6, 2004
– Genres: Fiction, Southern, Southern Gothic, Literary Fiction
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Board Stiff (Elliott Lisbon Mystery #1)

– Rating: 3.82 (1,160 ratings)
– Author: Kendel Lynn
– Published: April 30, 2013
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Chick Lit
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Agnes and the Hitman (The Organization #0)

– Rating: 3.95 (19,779 ratings)
– Author: Jennifer Crusie
– Published: August 21, 2007
– Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Mystery, Contemporary Romance
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Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales, #4)

– Rating: 4.05 (9,670 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: January 1, 2002
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Southern
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Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo

– Rating: 4.11 (3,492 ratings)
– Author: Ntozake Shange
– Published: January 1, 1976
– Genres: Fiction, Poetry, African American, Feminism
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Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)

– Rating: 3.89 (9,750 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: January 1, 2010
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Southern
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The Color of Light

– Rating: 4.08 (5,395 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: June 1, 2005
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Mystery, Romance
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Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way: Smokin’ Joe Butter Beans, Ol’ ‘Fuskie Fried Crab Rice, Sticky-Bush Blackberry Dumpling, and Other Sea Island Favorites

– Rating: 4.18 (84 ratings)
– Author: Sallie Ann Robinson
– Published: April 7, 2003
– Genres: Cookbooks, Food, Cooking
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Death on Demand (Death on Demand, #1)

– Rating: 3.85 (8,192 ratings)
– Author: Carolyn G. Hart
– Published: February 1, 1987
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Audiobook
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Red Hills and Cotton: An Upcountry Memory

– Rating: 3.99 (123 ratings)
– Author: Ben Robertson
– Published: January 1, 1942
– Genres: History, Memoir, American History, Nonfiction
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Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #1)

– Rating: 3.85 (3,150 ratings)
– Author: Martina Boone
– Published: October 28, 2014
– Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
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Lowcountry Bookshop (Liz Talbot Mystery #7)

– Rating: 4.28 (1,922 ratings)
– Author: Susan M. Boyer
– Published: May 29, 2018
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Southern
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On Leaving Charleston

– Rating: 3.99 (692 ratings)
– Author: Alexandra Ripley
– Published: January 1, 1984
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Historical Romance
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Dear John

– Rating: 4.04 (577,987 ratings)
– Author: Nicholas Sparks
– Published: January 1, 2006
– Genres: Romance, Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary
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Slaves in the Family

– Rating: 4.02 (2,661 ratings)
– Author: Edward Ball
– Published: February 1, 1998
– Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, Memoir
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I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865

– Rating: 3.92 (4,881 ratings)
– Author: Joyce Hansen
– Published: January 1, 1997
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Historical, Fiction
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Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3)

– Rating: 4.10 (11,296 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: January 11, 2003
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Southern
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Plantation

– Rating: 4.19 (12,872 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: July 1, 2001
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Southern, Romance
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The Memory of Water

– Rating: 3.78 (7,138 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: March 4, 2008
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Mystery, Southern
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All the Single Ladies (Lowcountry Tales, #10)

– Rating: 3.63 (10,260 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: June 2, 2015
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Womens Fiction
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The Time Between

– Rating: 4.09 (12,504 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: June 4, 2013
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
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Lowcountry Summer (Lowcountry Tales, #7)

– Rating: 3.86 (6,846 ratings)
– Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
– Published: July 1, 2002
– Genres: Fiction, Southern, Romance, Chick Lit
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Learning to Breathe

– Rating: 3.95 (2,871 ratings)
– Author: Karen White
– Published: March 6, 2007
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary
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I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots

– Rating: 4.11 (656 ratings)
– Author: Susan Straight
– Published: January 1, 1992
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, African American, Literature
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Jericho Walls

– Rating: 3.97 (115 ratings)
– Author: Kristi Collier
– Published: April 1, 2002
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, Young Adult, African American
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