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[Fox] Bill York. JOHN FOX Jr., APPALACHIAN AUTHOR. . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003). 6x9. Photographs, chronology, notes, bibliography, index, 328 pages.

~~~ John Fox, Jr., was one of the first writers to use the mountains of southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky as a backdrop for his stories and novels about a people whose culture faced extinction. Writing was not a profession he chose quickly or painlessly--he was well into middle age when he made the decision and he struggled with his choice for a long time after--but he made quite a name for himself through his work. This work is a biography of Fox. It draws from personal and family correspondence and covers his entire life, from his birth in Stony Point, Kentucky, in 1862, to his death from pneumonia in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in 1919. His early life and education at his father’s school, his two years at Transylvania University in Lexington, his transfer to Harvard and graduation in 1883, his work for the New York Sun and Times and smaller newspapers, and return home in the mid-1880s to work with his half-brother in the coal mines are all documented. It was also around this time that he began his first novel, A Mountain Europa, and over the next thirty years he wrote dozens of short stories and nine novels from the family home in Big Stone Gap, including Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (his first to gain the status of bestseller) and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.


Garin, Marita (ed). SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY: An Anthology of Works by 37 Poets . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008). 7x10. 36 photos, glossary, notes, index, 275 pages.

~~~ The mountain South thrives on centuries-old traditions, a fact well known to readers of Appalachian literature, which is among the richest and most evocative of any region in the country.
~~~ This anthology collects 225 poems by 37 poets of Southern Appalachia, from James Still and Louise McNeill to Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell and Charles Wright. Embracing the region’s strong narrative tradition, dialect and syntax, the collection also includes poems that redefine the terms of isolation, as technological change and heightened tourism bring the old and new ways into greater tension.
~~~ Autobiographical essays introduce each poet and his or her work. Notes explain colloquial, obscure, or historical references appearing in the poems.


Giarnina, Denise. STORMING HEAVEN: A Novel. . NEW copy, pocket paperback. (NY: Random House, 1987). 293 pages.

~~~ Annadel, West Virginia, was a small town rich in coal, farms, and close-knit families, all destroyed when the coal company came in. It stole everything it hadn't bothered to buy—land deeds, private homes, and ultimately, the souls of its men and women.
~~~ Four people tell this powerful, deeply moving tale: Activist Mayor C.J. Marcum. Fierce, loveless union man Rondal Lloyd. Gutsy nurse Carrie Bishop, who loved Rondal. And lonely, Sicilian immigrant Rose Angelelli, who lost four sons to the deadly mines.
~~~ They all bear witness to nearly forgotten events of history, culminating in the final, tragic Battle of Blair Mountain—when the United States Army greeted 10,000 unemployed pro-union miners with airplanes, bombs, and poison gas. It was the first crucial battle of a war that has yet to be won.

"If we are very lucky, every few years there arrives a novel that is so moving, so intantly successful ... that it towers high over much else that is being published. Storming Heaven is that book for 1987." ~~Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Brilliant diamond-hard fiction, heartwrenching, tough and tender." ~~Los Angeles Times Book Review


Herrin, Roberta Teague & Sheila Quinn Oliver (eds). APPALACHIAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: An Annotated Bibliography . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010). 7x10. Map, appendices, indexes, 355 pages.

~~~ This comprehensive bibliography includes books written about or set in Appalachia from the 18th century to the present. Titles represent the entire region as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, including portions of 13 states stretching from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The bibliography is arranged in alphabetical order by author, and each title is accompanied by an annotation, most of which include composite reviews and critical analyses of the work. All classic genres of children’s literature are represented.


Pancake, Breece D'J, THE STORIES OF BREECE D'J PANCAKE. . NEW copy, trade paperback. Reprint edition. (Back Bay Books, 2002). 192 pages.

~~~ A collection of short stories that memorably capture American life in rural Appalachia by Breece D'J Pancake, the brilliant writer praised by Joyce Carol Oates as "a young writer of such extraordinary gifts that one is tempted to compare his debut to Hemingway's."
~~~ Breece D'J Pancake cut short a promising career when he took his own life at the age twenty-six. Published posthumously, this is a collection of stories that depict the world of Pancake's native rural West Virginia with astonishing power and grace.

~~~ "Breece D'J Pancake's is an exceptional voice: gritty, mordant, invested with the texture of stroked reality, urgent, and haunting." --Margaret Atwood


Still, James. RIVER OF EARTH. . VG/VG. Jacket in mylar. (NY: The Viking Press, 1940). First Edition. 293 pages.

~~~ Important Appalachian author's first book. Nice copy. Scarce in jacket.


Ted Olson & Kathy H. Olson (eds), JAMES STILL: Critical Essays on the Dean of Appalachian Literature
. . NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007). Photographs, notes, bibliography, index.
~~~ Best known as the author of the acclaimed novel River of Earth (1940), Alabama native James Still is one of the most critically acclaimed writers of Appalachian literature. This compilation of scholarly essays (new and reprinted from hard-to-find sources) exploring Still’s literary work is the first book-length collection of its kind and features contributions from leading scholars and writers, including Wendell Berry, Fred Chappell, Jim Wayne Miller, Jeff Daniel Marion, Diane Fisher, Dean Cadle, and Hal Crowther. The book explores the full range of Still’s literary interests, with separate chapters devoted to River of Earth, his short stories, poetry, folkloric writings, and writing for children.



Williams, Tennessee, CANDLES TO THE SUN: A Play in Ten Scenes. NEW copy, trade paperback. (New Directions, 2004). 128 pages.
~~~ The first full-length play by novice playwright Thomas Lanier Williams to be produced, Candles to the Sun was premiered by The Mummers, a semi-professional and socially aware theatre troupe in St. Louis on March 18, 1937, and received rave reviews in the local press. Set in the Red Hills coal mining section of Alabama and dealing with both the attempts of the miners to unionize and the bleak lives of their families, the play, according to St. Louis Star-Times critic Reed Hynds, is "an earnest and searching examination of a particular social reality set out in human and dramatic terms."


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