By Robert Gipe
Winner of the 2015 Weatherford Award in Fiction
“A story that left my heart at once warmed and shattered, Trampoline rides the razor’s edge of raw beauty. This is Appalachia shone with a light uniquely its own. I dare say Robert Gipe has invented his own genre.”
David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go
“I fear this book. I’m in love with this book. I’m laughing out loud at this book. I am knocked to my knees in grief by this book. One of the most powerful works of contemporary fiction I’ve read in years. I’ll never forget Dawn Jewell. I’ll never escape Canard County.”
Ann Pancake, author of Strange as this Weather Has Been and Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley
“Dawn Jewell is one of the most memorable and endearing narrators I have ever read. She's like a combination of Scout Finch, Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, and True Grit's Mattie Ross, but even more she is completely her own person, the creation of Robert Gipe, an author who has given us a novel that provides everything we need in great fiction: a sense of place that drips with kudzu and coal dust; complex characters who rise up off the page as living, breathing people we will not soon forget; and a rollicking story that is by turns hilarious, profound, deeply moving, and always lyrically beautiful. I think Trampoline is one of the most important novels to come out of Appalachia in a long while and announces an important new voice in our literature. I loved every single bit of this book.”
Silas House, author of Clay's Quilt and Eli the Good
“Trampoline is a moving account of working-class Kentucky mountain people who live in an environment dominated by mountaintop removal coal mining. Trampoline is also the most innovative American fiction to appear in years. The story, the characters and the writing style are startlingly new, as in: original. Trampoline adds a fresh consciousness to the enduring conversation about the Appalachian region. Pathos and humor are present in about equal measure.”
Gurney Norman, author of Divine Right's Trip and Kinfolks
Dawn Jewell is fifteen. She is restless, curious, and wry. She listens to Black Flag, speaks her mind, and joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining almost in spite of herself. “I write by ear,” says Robert Gipe, and Dawn’s voice is the essence of his debut novel, Trampoline. She lives in eastern Kentucky with her addict mother and her Mamaw, whose stance against the coal companies has earned her the community’s ire. Jagged and honest, Trampoline is a powerful portrait of a place struggling with the economic and social forces that threaten and define it. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings, it is above all about its heroine, Dawn, as she decides whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or ruled by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life.
Robert Gipe lives in Harlan, Kentucky, and grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee. His fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Still, Motif, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.
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