Fresh from receiving a doctorate from Cornell University in 1933, but unable to find work, Charles M. Wiltse joined his parents on the small farm they had recently purchased in southern Ohio. There, the Wiltses scratched out a living selling eggs, corn, and other farm goods at prices that were barely enough to keep the farm intact.In wry and often affecting prose, Wiltse recorded a year in the life of this quintessentially American place during the Great Depression.
Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment blends literacy studies with literary criticism to analyze the central female characters in the works of Harriette Simpson Arnow, Linda Scott DeRosier, Denise Giardina, and Lee Smith.
Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.
Meredith Sue Willis’s Out of the Mountains is a collection of thirteen short stories set in contemporary Appalachia. Firmly grounded in place, the stories voyage out into the conflicting cultural identities that native Appalachians experience as they balance mainstream and mountain identities.Willis’s
It is 1883, and all of Klara Bozic’s girlish dreams have come crashing down as she arrives in Thirsty, a gritty steel town carved into the slopes above the Monongahela River just outside of Pittsburgh. She has made a heartbreaking discovery. Her new husband Drago is as abusive as the father she left behind in Croatia.In
Out of the Woods: A Bird Watcher’s Year is a journey through the seasons and a joyous celebration of growing old. In fifty-nine essays and poems, Ora E. Anderson, birder, bird carver, naturalist, and nature writer, reveals the insights and recollections of a keen-eyed observer of nature, both human and avian.
“All my work fits in my mouth,” Jo Carson says. “I write performance material no matter what else the pieces get called, and whether they are for my voice or other characters’ voices … they are first to be spoken aloud.” Following an oral tradition that has strong roots in her native Tennessee, the author of Teller Tales invites the reader to participate in events in a way that no conventional history book can.Both
Situated in a remote outpost in West Virginia at the turn of the last century, the story that Lenore McComas Coberly tells in Sarah’s Girls is one of place, people, and unquenchable spirit. In this fictionalized account of her recent ancestors, Coberly masterfully traces the journeys of their lives, their dreams, and their hardships over the course of the twentieth century.At
Loving Mountains, Loving Men is the first book-length treatment of a topic rarely discussed or examined: gay life in Appalachia. Appalachians are known for their love of place, yet many gays and lesbians from the mountains flee to urban areas. Jeff Mann tells the story of one who left and then returned, who insists on claiming and celebrating both regional and erotic identities.
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.
Women’s studies unites with Appalachian studies in Beyond Hill and Hollow, the first book to focus exclusively on studies of Appalachia’s women. Featuring the work of historians, linguists, sociologists, performance artists, literary critics, theater scholars, and others, the collection portrays the diverse cultures of Appalachian women.The
Opera houses were fixtures of Appalachian life from the end of the Civil War through the 1920s. The only book on opera houses that stresses their cultural context, Condee’s unique study will interest cultural geographers, scholars of Appalachian studies, and all those who appreciate the gaudy diversity of the American scene.
As a function of its corporate duties, the Consolidation Coal Company, one of the largest coal-mining operations in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century, had photographers take hundreds of pictures of nearly every facet of its operations. Whether for publicity images, safety procedures, or archival information, these photographs create a record that goes far beyond the purpose the company intended.In
A groundbreaking approach to studying not only cultural linguistics but also the cultural heritage of a historic time and place in America. It gives witness to the issues of race and class inherent in the way we write, speak, and think.
Contemporaries were shocked when author Mary Noailles Murfree revealed she was a woman, but modern readers may be more surprised by her cogent discussion of community responses to unwanted development. Effie Waller Smith, an African American woman writing of her love for the Appalachian mountains, wove discussions of women’s rights, racial tension, and cultural difference into her Appalachian poetry.
The death of her father begins Dorothy Weil’s search for what causes the family’s “spinning of in all directions like the pieces of Chaos.” She embarks on a river odyssey, traveling the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers by steamboat, towboat, and even an old-fashioned flatboat. The river brings her family back, as she records the stories of her fellow “river rats”: steamboat veterans, deckhands, captains, and cooks.The
This oral history, based on interview transcripts, is the untold story of African American life in West Virginia, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman: Memphis Tennessee Garrison, an innovative teacher, administrative worker at US Steel, and vice president of the National Board of the NAACP at the height of the civil rights struggle.
Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state’s historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.The