Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Appalachian Fiction

Appalachia is a cultural region in the Eastern U. S. that stretches from Southern New York to Northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.  The region includes 420 counties and eight cities in 13 states.  In Florida in 1528, the Spanish found a Native American village called "Apalchen" or "Apalachen".  It was altered to "Apalachee" and it referred to the tribe and the region.  Now spelled Appalachian, it is the fourth oldest surviving European place-name in the United States.
Some of Appalachia's best known writers include:
Dorothy Allison--Bastard Out of Carolina
Lisa Alther--Washed in Blood
Wendell Berry--Hannah Coulter
Wayne Caldwell--Cataloochee: A Novel
Set in the mountains of North Carolina, this debut follows three families from the Civil War to the 1920s.
Pamela Duncan--Moon Women
William Faulkner--Light in August and Absalom Absalom!
Charles Frazier--Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons
Patricia Harman--The Midwife of Hope River
During the Great Depression, Patience Murphy ekes out a living as a midwife in West Virginia.
Silas House--A Parchment of Leaves
In 1917, a young Cherokee woman leaves her family to marry an Irishman--making her an outcast in both her community and her husband's.
In 1866, ex-Confederate soldier Tom Dula is living in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Based on the events that inspired the popular American folk song, "Tom Dooley".
Jennifer Niven--Velva Jean Learns to Fly
Velva Jean is leaving her North Carolina hometown for Nashville when World War II breaks out. She discovers a love of flying and joins the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. Start with Velva Jean Learns to Drive.
A new collection of stories set in Appalachia that spans the Civil War era to the present day.
Lee Smith--On Agate Hill
Thomas Wolfe--Look Homeward Angel
More fiction on the Appalachian region.
"Appalachia is an exotic mix of ghosts and gold mines, Cherokees and Civil War legends, cougars and Child ballads, moonshine and white water."
Sharyn McCrumb
"Hang your head, Tom Dooley,
Hang your head and cry;
You killed poor Laurie Foster,
And you know you're bound to die.

"At this time tomorrow
Where do you reckon I'll be?
Away down yonder in the holler
Hangin' on a white oak tree".
Tom Dooley lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
From the song Tom Dooley by Doc Watson



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