People have predicted the demise of Appalachian literature ever since it became established as a sub-genre starting in 1962 with the essay, "Literature Since 1900" by Wilma Dykeman and W. D. Weatherford which appeared in The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey edited by Thomas R. Ford. The argument was that the country was becoming completely homogenized and people were moving all around and whatever local flavors there were had become totally mixed into a mainstream culture. Then in 2010, almost fifty years later, a critically acclaimed and best-selling novel was published by Alfred A. Knopf. It was set in the Tennessee mountains and written by Amy Greene. She is a young writer who has lived her whole life in a small Hamblen County, Tennessee, town, never even commuting away from her home county to go to college, but instead obtaining her college degree on-line. Yes, there still IS an Appalachian culture, and it still is producing its own authors, and darn good ones at that! “Nothing less than an epic—a story of madness and magic that spans four generations, an emotionally tangled tale that requires six disparate voices to tell and offers no easy resolutions to the conflicts of the heart.” —Nashville Scene. “Greene’s debut novel is one that sticks with you, gets under your skin, and wrenches your gut. It enchants with the magic of legend, and chills with the meanness that can fester in people. Greene writes a world both delightfully fanciful and painfully real, a testament to the strength of deep roots and the fragility of old ways in an increasingly paved-over world. . . . Mesmerizing.” —Orion magazine. “Amy Greene is a born storyteller who depicts the voices and folkways of Appalachia with both eloquence and verisimilitude. A striking debut by a gifted writer.” —Ron Rash.
New York: Alfred A. Knopt, 2010. 291 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.