Gurney Norman is a novelist and short story writer whose works include Divine Right’s Trip, Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories, and Allegiance. A former Kentucky poet laureate, he is professor of English at the University of Kentucky. He received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University. A native of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia, he is a widely known Appalachian literary and cultural advocate. He is coeditor of Back Talk from Appalachia: Confronting Stereotypes, and An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature.
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Part autobiography and part Appalachian folktale, Allegiance follows one man’s transformation from a working-class childhood in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia to his later struggle with alcoholism and depression. A collection of nonfiction essays rounds out the book.
An American Vein is an anthology of literary criticism of Appalachian novelists, poets, and playwrights. The book reprises critical writing of influential authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Cratis Williams, and Jim Wayne Miller. It introduces new writing by Rodger Cunningham, Elizabeth Engelhardt, and others.