Towns, rivers, urban and rural: this bellwether state’s people are known as the ‘pukes’, not referring to any gastric problems they might be having but to a term used during the Civil War meaning impoverished white people who supported slavery.
The biggest name in writers from Missouri is Mark Twain, best known for his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both of which are also set in the state as well. Although known for her unsettled life, the writer Laura Ingalls Wilder lived most of her adult life in Missouri and also died there. Her Little House books are stories about her childhood moving around the States, giving colourful descriptions about the times and the area.
Award winning film Winter’s Bone was shot in Missouri, an adaption of Daniel Woodrell’s novel of the same name.
Missouri was one of the centres of jazz and blues, but also Bluegrass and Country. Both Chuck Berry and Porter Wagoner were born in the state and there is still a lively music scene.