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Elegies and Effigies

Elegies and Effigies

"It’s been called Trump Country, coal country and backcountry. But it’s our country." Elizabeth Catte was recently a featured guest on NPR's program 1A for their episode "Elegies and Effigies: Who Speaks for Appalachia?" In conversation with West Virginian radio producer Roxy Todd, author Steve Almond, and artist & poet Crystal Good, she talked about representation, stereotypes, and (of course) the trouble with self-appointed Appalachian spokesperson JD Vance and his memoir Hillbilly Elegy. Listen to the full episode here.    

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“A shot of 100 proof history”

“A shot of 100 proof history”

  Whiskey Rebellion and the Rebirth of Rye got a shout out yesterday in the Post-Gazette on columnist Tony Norman's list of new and notable books by Pittsburgh authors. He called it “a shot of 100 proof history in less than 130 pages." As a chaser, we recommend a cocktail from the recipe collection at the end of the book. Get your copy here:   

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Belt Revivals (letter from the publisher)

Belt Revivals (letter from the publisher)

I spent the bulk of the 1990s in graduate school, reading novels, mainly American ones, particularly those published between 1870 and 1920.  I wrote a very overwrought, theory-soaked dissertation on some of these novels (“Picturing Time: American Literary Realism and the Problem of Perspective"—I have the dot matrix-printed file somewhere).   The novels and non-fiction I studied—by Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Frank Norris, Hamlin Garland, William Dean Howells, Rebecca Harding Davis, and others, were not as capital L literary as the more-oft read ‘classics’ of the periods before and after—the Herman Melvilles, Nathaniel Hawthornes, F. Scott Fitzgeralds and Willa Cathers--but...

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Better coverage of Appalachia in 2018?

Better coverage of Appalachia in 2018?

“It’s hard to [imagine] how our range of options in Appalachia and the quality of our narrative could get worse.”

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Midwestern Literature is Alive

Midwestern Literature is Alive

Photo by Gozha Net "Upon confessing homesickness I have heard, 'I didn’t think there was anything there to miss.' Yet Walt Whitman once described the Midwest as the nation’s 'crown and teeming paradise.' So what happened?" Sonya Huber We're completely enamored with this article by Sonya Huber published last week on Electric Lit, in which she describes the history of cultural tension between the Midwest and East Coast that results in Midwestern stories being undermined as "regional," the tellers dismissed as sentimental, provincial, or just hopelessly backwards. What is important about the Midwest? Why are our stories worth telling? "I don’t have a pamphlet...

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