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Appalachian Studies

Appalachian Studies Book List

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Cover of 'The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell'

The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell
Contemporary Appalachian Tables
Edited by Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt and Lora E. Smith
· Afterword by Ronni Lundy

Blue ridge tacos, kimchi with soup beans and cornbread, family stories hiding in cookbook marginalia, African American mountain gardens—this wide-ranging anthology considers all these and more. Diverse contributors show us that contemporary Appalachian tables offer new ways into understanding past, present, and future American food practices.

Cover of 'Enchanted Ground'

Enchanted Ground
The Spirit Room of Jonathan Koons
By Sharon Hatfield

In a fascinating work of religious history and cultural inquiry, Hatfield brings to life the true story of a nineteenth-century farmer-spiritualist, Jonathan Koons, whom thousands traveled to Ohio to see. As heirs to the second Great Awakening, he and his followers were part of a larger, uniquely American moment that still marks the culture today.

2018 Appalachian Book of the Year, Appalachian Writers Association
Cover of 'In the House of Wilderness'

In the House of Wilderness
A Novel
By Charles Dodd White

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.

Cover of 'Gone Dollywood'

Gone Dollywood
Dolly Parton’s Mountain Dream
By Graham Hoppe

Country music superstar Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is a 150-acre fantasyland that hosts three million people a year. What does it tell us about the modern South, and in turn what does that tell us about America as a whole? Hoppe blends tourism, public history, and personal reflection into an unforgettable interrogation of Southern American identity.

2018 Great Group Reads Selection · Finalist for the 2019 Weatherford Award in fiction
Cover of 'Maggie Boylan'

Maggie Boylan
By Michael Henson

Set in rural America amid an epidemic of opiate abuse, this collection of stories tells of a woman’s search for her own peculiar kind of redemption. Addict, thief, and liar, Maggie Boylan is queen of profanity, a hungry trickster. But she is also a woman of deep compassion and strength. Her journey is by turns frightening, funny, and deeply moving.

Cover of 'Fall or Fly'

Fall or Fly
The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia
By Wendy Welch

Chaos. Frustration. Compassion. Desperation. Hope. These are the five words that author Wendy Welch says best summarize the state of foster care in the coalfields of Appalachia. Her assessment is based on interviews with more than sixty social workers, parents, and children who have gone through “the system.” The riveting stories in Fall or Fly tell what foster care is like, from the inside out.

Cover of 'Keeping Heart'

Keeping Heart
A Memoir of Family Struggle, Race, and Medicine
By Otis Trotter
· Introduction by Joe William Trotter Jr.

Organized around the life histories, medical struggles, and recollections of Otis Trotter and his thirteen siblings, Keeping Heart is a personal account of an African American family’s journey north during the second Great Migration.

Cover of 'Women of the Mountain South'

Women of the Mountain South
Identity, Work, and Activism
Edited by Connie Park Rice and Marie Tedesco

Scholars of southern Appalachia have largely focused their research on men, particularly white men. The essays of Women of the Mountain South debunk the entrenched stereotype of Appalachian women as poor and white, and shine a long-overdue spotlight on women too often neglected in the history of the region.

Cover of 'Every River on Earth'

Every River on Earth
Writing from Appalachian Ohio
Edited by Neil Carpathios
· Foreword by Donald Ray Pollock

Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio includes some of the best regional poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from forty contemporary authors such as David Baker, Don Bogen, Michelle Burke, Richard Hague, Donald Ray Pollock, and others.

Cover of 'Mountaintop Mining in Appalachia'

Mountaintop Mining in Appalachia
Understanding Stakeholders and Change in Environmental Conflict
By Susan F. Hirsch and E. Franklin Dukes

Residents of the Appalachian coalfields share a history and heritage, deep connections to the land, and pride in their own resilience. These same residents are also profoundly divided over the practice of mountaintop mining. Looking beyond the slogans and seemingly irreconcilable differences, however, can reveal deeper causes of conflict.

Cover of 'Standing Our Ground'

Standing Our Ground
Women, Environmental Justice, and the Fight to End Mountaintop Removal
By Joyce M. Barry

Standing Our Ground: Women, Environmental Justice, and the Fight to End Mountaintop Removal examines women’s efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Mountaintop removal coal mining, which involves demolishing the tops of hills and mountains to provide access to coal seams, is one of the most significant environmental threats in Appalachia, where it is most commonly practiced.

Cover of 'Shake Terribly the Earth'

Shake Terribly the Earth
Stories from an Appalachian Family
By Sarah Beth Childers

In a thoughtful, humorous voice born of Appalachian storytelling, Childers brings to life family tales that affected the entire region to make sense of her personal journey and find the joy and clarity that often emerge after the earth shakes terribly beneath us.

Cover of 'Appalachia in the Classroom'

Appalachia in the Classroom
Teaching the Region
Edited by Theresa L. Burriss and Patricia M. Gantt

Appalachia in the Classroom presents topics and teaching strategies for a twenty-first century dialogue about Appalachia that reflect the diversity found within the region. It offers a critical resource and a model for engaging place in various disciplines and at several different levels in a thoughtful and inspiring way.

Cover of 'Mountains of Injustice'

Mountains of Injustice
Social and Environmental Justice in Appalachia
Edited by Michele Morrone and Geoffrey L. Buckley
· Foreword by Donald Edward Davis
· Afterword by Jedediah Purdy

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.

Cover of 'Prosperity Far Distant'

Prosperity Far Distant
The Journal of an American Farmer, 1933–1934
By Charles M. Wiltse
· Edited by Michael J. Birkner

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.