A Swallow Press Book
“White imbues his prose with deep compassion and finely honed storytelling. These skills were already on display in White’s 2018 novel, In the House of Wilderness, but here they accelerate, fueled by powerful confrontation with the violent racism and environmental hazards that endanger our current national atmosphere. White holds nothing back, and these scenes spark and blaze.”
Emily Choate, Chapter 16
“How Fire Runs faces down one of the most worrisome contemporary social developments, a phenomenon that, after the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, is demonstrably problematic in Appalachia: the resurgence, expansion, and organization of white supremacist and fascist groups…. The novel warns that it is … the transformation of fear and suffering into hate for the perceived other that kindles flames and allows fires to run.”
“How Fire Runs in saner times might read as a cautionary tale against the lure of authoritarianism and racist agitators. As it stands, however, the novel instead reads like reportage from the front lines of an increasingly polarized and frightening political and social landscape… White delves headfirst into the difficult questions of how a community must respond to a threat anathema to what they believe.”
Jim Coby, North Carolina Literary Review
“A spellbinding tale….Well-drawn characters are matched by evocative prose. Socially conscious readers will want to check this out.”
A chilling, timely reminder of the moral and human costs of racial hatred.
What happens when a delusional white supremacist and his army of followers decide to create a racially pure “Little Europe” within a rural Tennessee community? As the town’s residents grapple with their new reality, minor skirmishes escalate and dirty politics, scandals, and a cataclysmic chain of violence follows. In this uncanny reflection of our time, award-winning novelist Charles Dodd White asks whether Americans can save themselves from their worst impulses and considers the consequences when this salvation comes too late.
Charles Dodd White is the author of four novels, including two from Swallow Press: How Fire Runs and In the House of Wilderness. He has received the Appalachian Book of the Year Award and the Chaffin Award for his fiction. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is an associate professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College. More info →
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After months of wandering homeless through the landscape of Appalachia, a young woman named Rain finds herself part of a desperate family driven by exploitation and abuse. A harrowing story of choice and sacrifice, In the House of Wilderness is a novel about the modern South and how we fight through hardship and grief to find a way home.
At age twenty, Ada’s reputation as a faith healer defines her in her rural Pennsylvania community. But on the day in 1953 that her family’s barn is consumed by flame, her identity is upended: for the first time, she fears death and doubts God. Fire Is Your Water, acclaimed memoirist Jim Minick’s first novel, builds on magical realism and social observation to offer an insider’s glimpse into the culture of Appalachia.
Haunted by her past and the deaths that marked it, Sandy Holston wields her fly rod with uncanny accuracy as her life plays out along a tight line between herself and a fish on the other end. In this rare fly fishing novel with a female protagonist, Tim Poland weaves suspense and introspection into an unforgettable read.
When Dawn Jewell—fifteen, restless, curious, and wry—joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining in spite of herself, she has to decide whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings Trampoline is a powerful portrait of a place.
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