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At Home in the Heart of Appalaachia by John O'Brien

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This book won the 2001 Weatherford Award back when not only was there only one award across all genres, but when the process was much more conscientious. It is essentially a combination of memoir and biography. The author, John O'Brien (1943-2004) tells the story of his father who moved from West Virginia to Philadelphia.  The memoir comes in as O'Brien recounts his decision to leave Philadelphia to live the rest of his life in West Virginia. "In his exploration of the geography and people of Appalachia, which he describes with deep understanding and reverence, and in his exploration of himself, which he accomplishes with unflinching, sometimes uncomfortable honesty, he does remember good times with his dad, and he does find answers to questions that many of us have about the meaning of home."  - Temple West. “A magnificent, and major, book.... A true addition to the literature of America.” --The News & Observer.  “This is a heartfelt book that you quickly get comfortable in. As endearing as a friend.” --Edward Hoagland.“An illuminating meditation on a singular American place . . . rich and bighearted."--Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Offers deep, lingering pleasure."--Jonathan Harr.

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 306 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.