Despite the stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Appalachia, the region has nurtured and inspired some of the nation's finest writers. Featuring dozens of authors born into or adopted by the region over the past two centuries, Writing Appalachia showcases for the first time the nuances and contradictions that place Appalachia at the heart of American history.
This comprehensive anthology covers an exceedingly diverse range of subjects, genres, and time periods, beginning with early Native American oral traditions and concluding with twenty-first-century writers such as Wendell Berry, bell hooks, Silas House, Barbara Kingsolver, and Frank X Walker. Slave narratives, local color writing, folklore, work songs, modernist prose -- each piece explores unique Appalachian struggles, questions, and values. The collection also celebrates the significant contributions of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community to the region's history and culture. Alongside Southern and Central Appalachian voices, the anthology features northern authors and selections that reflect the urban characteristics of the region. As one text gives way to the next, a more complete picture of Appalachia emerges -- a landscape of contrasting visions and possibilities.
"Ledford and Lloyd have found the gateway to a region of literary riches, at once beautiful and sublime, by turns abundant and despoiled, and too often misrepresented and misunderstood. Hearing the chorus of clear and powerful voices represented here will surely help lift a veil that has for so long obscured many truths about the region. At last Appalachia is revealed in its full panorama. The collective story is both triumphant and heartrending." -- Morris Grubbs, editor of Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader