I have been re reading some of my favorites from through the years. I discovered Harry Crews in college. Being from the south and spending a lot of my childhood in the deep south I have seen some pretty wild characters living on the very fringes of society.
Harry Crews captures the fringe folks with such detail that is beyond imagination at time. My personal favorites are Feast of Snakes, The Gospel Singer, and Naked in Garden HIlls. They aren't easy to find these days, but so worth the search.