Top 10 Slang Narratives: From Burgess To Faulkner

By Kathleen Massara

Dialect can be used as a class marker, or as something that identifies your hometown, your race, or your predilection for jargon. There are standard dialects, which are those institutionally-approved ways of speaking that make us understood, but are frankly a little boring. And then there are Newfies, the stalwart denizens of the oddly-shaped island near Québec who speak a language very much their own. The authors below use dialect either as a majority of the novel or as an abrupt break from the narration; many of them are from the opposite side of the Atlantic, but some of them are from the South, or fake it, like Cormac McCarthy.