This is a beautiful, well-written, coffee-table book that highlights the contributions and lives of nine mostly nationally known contemporary authors who identify with Appalachia: Wendell Berry, Crystal Wilkinson, Ron Rash, Adriana Trigianani, Silas House, George Ella Lyon, Frank X. Walker, Marie Junaluska, and Lee Smith. The profiles are written by authors who are not as nationally prominent but are well-known in Appalachian literary circles. One minor point: This is not THE circle of writers in modern Appalachia. It is A circle, arguably an important one. Through a few literary journals and workshops, these 18 authors, with a couple of exceptions, are friends who represent one kind of literary circle. Although only two of the authors profiled still live in the region, five of the authors of the profiles do. The books written up on this website, Appalachian Mountain Books, of course, show that beyond this circle are many nationally, regionally, and locally acclaimed and respected Appalachian writers. There are also others inside this circle who are worthy as well. We can easily create lots of other circles of modern Appalachian writers. For example, one of very prominent writers who live in Appalachia would overlap with Ron Rash and could include Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Roberts, Sharyn McCrumb, R. H. W. Dillard, Rita Dove, Jeff Daniel Marion, Nora Roberts, etc. A circle of nationally prominent writers who grew up in Appalachia but have moved on would overlap with Lee Smith, and could include Cormac McCarthy, Jayne Ann Phillips, Fred Chappell, Lisa Alther, Robert Morgan, Dorothy Allison, Charles Frazier, Julia Keller, etc. The editors, Amy Greene and Trent Thomson, are a married couple who live in Hamblen County, Tennessee. Amy Green is the author of two very successful novels, Bloodroot and Long Man.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Blair/Carolina Wren Press, 2019. 111 pages, illustrated with color photographs. 8” X 10” hardback with a pictorial cover.