James Still (1906-2001) is considered by many familiar with Appalachian short stories to be the finest practitioner of the art. Those who do not, invariably include him in their top five! Arguably, nobody has captured the cadence and idiom of old-fashioned mountain speech as well as he. Still grew up in Alabama just south of Appalachian Regional Commission counties and attended Lincoln Memorial University in Cumberland Gap. He graduated from there in the class of 1929 with Jesse Stuart and Don West, who also became outstanding regional writers. And all three went from there to Vanderbilt. Still earned his masters in library science at the University of Illinois, and, like Don West, took a depression-era job in Knott County, Kentucky. Unlike Don, he stayed there – except for service overseas in World War II – for the rest of his life. In 1941, 1976 and 1980, James Still published three short story collections. All twenty-four of the stories from these volumes are here. Also here are twelve stories he later incorporated into his novel River of Earth and the one that went into Sporty Creek, often considered a youth novel. Also included are ten additional stories published in magazines and six never previously published.
Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, a 2022 reprint of a 2012 release. 401 pages. Trade paperback.