Tag Archives: appalachian authors

The Indians nevertheless showed much contempt for the negro slaves

An article written about 1926 by Peter L. Livengood of Salisbury, PA, appearing in the ‘Meyersdale Republican’ that year, gives the following account of Grantsville, Maryland’s oldest inn: Little Crossings (still standing and now known as Penn Alps Restaurant & Craft Shop.) On one occasion while Mr. and Mrs. George Matthews kept tavern at Little […]

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That’s old Hide-an’-Taller, the best gun ever seen

I was beginning to get a bit worried about Good ‘Lige, since I hadn’t seen him for some three weeks. It was with a feeling of relief when I knocked at his door last Sunday to hear his cheery voice call to me to enter. He was sitting before the fire, reading his copy of […]

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Horace Kephart, champion of the Smokies

On April 2, 1931 Horace Kephart was killed in an automobile accident near Ela, NC along with fellow author Fiswoode Tarelton. Kephart (1862-1931) was a travel writer and librarian who published hundreds of articles during his lifetime, but became especially renowned for his classic works ‘Our Southern Highlanders’ and ‘Camping and Woodcraft.’ In one of […]

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The Definitive ‘Appalachian Novel’ Celebrates Its Diamond Anniversary

James Still (1906–2001) has cast a long shadow. A diverse canon of ‘Appalachian’ literature has emerged in recent decades, and many authors, including Ron Rash, Lee Smith, and Silas House, have acknowledged River of Earth as the book that inspired them to write about their home region. Some writers from outside Appalachia, such as Wendell Berry, have similarly cited Still as a formative influence.

Still, were he here today, would undoubtedly not claim credit for founding a regional literary movement. He dearly loved the region to which he moved when a young college student (after growing up in Alabama). Yet, Still often told interviewers and friends that he thought of himself as a Southern writer and that he yearned to be considered in the company of William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, and Flannery O’Connor.

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The full force of an ardent Southern temperament

“I don’t know anything else. You see, I was born in North Georgia, in Dalton, the town that has figured in my books as ‘Darley,’” explained novelist Will N. Harben to a reporter in a 1905 interview. “So that while I am not one of the people about whom I write—for there is the sharpest […]

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