I found this on Wikipedia and I think it helps me understand Eggleston's work.
It may help to compare Eggleston's work to the work of another illustrious Southerner, William Faulkner, who also grew up in, and drew his subject matter from, the Mississippi Delta region that is the subject matter of much of Eggleston's art. Both Eggleston and Faulkner drew upon insights of the European and American avant-gardes to help them explore their Southern environs in new and surprising ways. As the writer Willie Morris wrote, Eggleston's "depiction of the rural Southern countryside speaks eloquently of the fictional world of Faulkner and, not coincidentally, the shared experience of almost every Southerner. Oftentimes lurid, always lyrical, his stark realism resonates with the language and tone of Faulkner's greatest mythic cosmos of Yoknapatawpha County .... The work of Bill Eggleston would have pleased Bill Faulkner ... immensely." Eggleston seemed to acknowledge the affinity between himself and Faulkner with the publication of his book, Faulkner's Mississippi, in 1990.