With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region's future? Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia's intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities.
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This book describes an elementary school’s efforts to respond to the needs of their highly distressed central Appalachian community. These educators, their school, and their community are a microcosm of the changes occurring in the region itself.
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.
A stunningly written investigation of the murder of two young women--showing how a violent crime casts a shadow over an entire community. In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the "Rainbow Murders," though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas--turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries. Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America--its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.
Fiction. Richard Logan begins his summer day as any fourteen-year-old might: working a farm job bringing in hay, avoiding his hard-headed father, and hanging out with his friends. When he stumbles onto an unconscious woman in the woods, he has no idea that the process of helping her will lead him into the darkness of the deeply held deceits of his rural Appalachian town. Both brutal and beautiful, RECKONING shows the seams and limits of family love and community tolerance while Richard discovers where manhood truly lies.
As this book cogently states this is an eclectic examination of current social problems using the lenses of literature, whether fiction or non-fiction, to open doors to understanding the potential for new and creative interventions that have the potential for transformative change. The beginning quote from Toni Morrison bringing light to those who don't always find themselves true ownership to the land to which they are rooted in is a climate system for readers of this book. James Agee and Walker Evans provide a clear and yet complex vision of how they came to study three families in Hale County, Alabama. Their work gives excellent details on how to enter cultures different from their own. Hillbilly Elegy, Appalachian Reckoning and Nickel Boys all written in the past three years yield description and rhetoric that inform social scientists of the human condition. Appalachian Reckoning disputes much of what J.D. Vance wrote. Furious Hours is an excellent source for data collection and analysis. Literature is not new to social commentary but these are contemporary works that can help scholar activists and public researchers who are doing research and publishing for the public. This is a major goal of this book. Educational issues and their intersection with crime and mental issues are key topics of this cogent book. Opportunity gaps, school to prison pipeline, anxiety and many more issues are fodder for scholar activists that are adumbrated in this forceful book. The community school is proffered as a hub of services for those thorny issues. The school is the place to offer services because so many are fractured in this country today and very likely to become more so. Systemic thinking is a key part of the interventions applied currently. A plus on this topic is that systems thinking is presented in a demystifying way. Vignettes are a strength of this book in that they are what happened and they give readers insight into what worked and what didn't. If you are a bridge player, one peak is worth two finesses. The people in these vignettes are as alive today as they were when these events took place.
In the vein of Elmore Leonard’s Justified, C. Hoyt Caldwell introduces a thriller series set in the dark side of the Appalachian mountains—featuring a heroine who’s playing both sides of the law. Deputy Dani Savage would like nothing better than to shoot the wife beaters, carjackers, drug dealers, and all the rest of the low-life good ol’ boys that make policing Baptist Flats, Tennessee, near impossible. Instead, she grits her teeth and serves the God-fearing townsfolk without complaint. The “little deputy,” as she’s known, is often overlooked and ridiculed for being a small-statured woman in a big man’s world. But while investigating a cold case involving a missing teen, Dani stumbles onto some disturbing facts that cannot be ignored. Soon Dani realizes that this case goes back decades. There’s a history of young women being stolen from the Tennessee hills, and a legacy of corrupt cops looking the other way. Dani’s investigation leads her to the “closeout kings,” a pair of hired killers with a tale to tell—a tale of a missing girl and a crime worse than murder. Somehow these two deranged hit men are Dani’s last, best allies. They know that it’s time for payback—and in the backwoods, justice takes only one form. Praise for Savage Reckoning “A highly addictive read from start to finish.”—Carrie’s Book Reviews “Author C. Hoyt Caldwell has crafted a first-rate crime thriller in Savage Reckoning.”—Vera’s Book Reviews and Stuff “One heck of a wild ride.”—No Glitter Blown “The book is great, action-filled, amusing, mysterious and heartbreaking.”—A Bookaholic Swede “Genuinely one of the funniest novels I’ve read in such a long time even if it does deal with some pretty gruesome stuff.”—Book Bum “A well-developed mystery with strong characters and thrilling progression!”—The Black Sheep Project
This is it. Sixteen-year-old orphan Dru Anderson has faced down suckers, zombies, and wulfen without flinching. And now that she's bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha, she doesn't even need a gun. But the Real World is still a frightening place . . . and things are about to get ugly. Really ugly. Dru Anderson has escaped with her life, but she's not out of the woods yet. She's on the lam in a stolen car with her best friend Graves riding shotgun and a Broken wulf named Ash curled up in the backseat. Desperate, Dru heads deep into the Appalachian Mountains to the one place she thinks they'll be safe. But her grandmother's wards and enchantments can't keep Dru's scent from the suckers for long – especially when Dru is betrayed by the one person she trusts most. It's all come down to this. ONE battle. ONE choice ONE final sacrifice. DRU ANDERSON'S NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK. BUT SHE SHOULD BE.