Tag Archives: appalachian literature

Book Review: ‘Listening to the Land’

The photographs in this book are vivid and at times striking. While they contribute to the story told in the text, photographer Tom Cogill has done an excellent job of using image to create its own narrative. As with many photographic documents of Appalachia, Listening to the Land has its share of standard landscape images: the blurry and babbling brook, the broad and rugged landscape, the active forest floor. But unlike other accounts, all of these images are beautiful. And the broad, more generic shots are interspersed with specific images such as a morel, mechanical gears, and a cluttered tool shed.

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Stories of Superstition: East TN’s Houston House

One evening Dr. Houston came in drunk. He sat with pistol cocked, waiting for the ghost. As the three knocks sounded on the door he bounded forward to meet it, and followed it up the stairs shooting and cursing volubly. The footsteps were not disturbed by the Doctor’s violence. They made their rounds with regular tread. As three farewell knocks sounded, Dr. Houston emptied his pistol into the outside darkness several times and closed the door.

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Author Katherine Scott Crawford discusses ‘Keowee Valley’

While Keowee Valley isn’t a straight romance novel, it certainly has strong romantic elements, and I like to think of my protagonist, Quinn, as a romantic heroine–though I doubt she’d describe herself that way. I’m not too familiar with Southern romance as a genre, but I did read Gone With the Wind when I was a preteen and again as an adult, and if we’re talking about the Scarlett O’Hara type heroine, I think you’re absolutely right! Scarlett–and Quinn, too, I like to think–challenges assumptions about Southern women: that we’re sweet and prim and always poised, always mannerly, always well groomed and willing to stand behind our men. And most of all, that Southern women can be lumped into one sort of category, which is certainly not the case in real life or in fiction.

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Book Review: ‘Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region’

‘Appalachia in the Classroom’ was designed as a teaching aid for Appalachian Studies courses and provides excellent examples for courses primarily in literature, but also in history, film, folklife and cultural studies. The content of the chapters are based largely on the background, teaching strategies and personal experience of the authors rather than a manual on how to teach specific courses and concepts.

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May Justus: Tennessee’s Mountain Jewel

May Justus writes about the folk in the Tennessee mountains—people she knows and loves. Most of the glad and sad adventures of her ‘book children’ are rooted in her own experiences as a little girl. For example, her childhood home was a cabin very much like Matt’s and Glory’s in ‘The Cabin on Kettle Creek.’ “I don’t do research for my books. I write from memory, about things my parents and my grandparents told me,” Miss Justus once told a reporter.

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