Breece Pancake's only book - a collection of stories published posthumously - is not only one of the most revered in all of West Virginia literature, but one of the most critically acclaimed short story collections of our region. Breece Pancake (1952-1979) grew up in Milton, West Virginia, the son of a mother who became a librarian after her kids were raised and a father. who was a shipping clerk at a Union Carbide plant. Breece Pancake loved hiking, hunting, fishing and discovering low-class bars while driving his Volkswagen on whatever interesting road appeared. His favorite music was that of Phil Ochs, an achingly sensitive artist on the left who committed suicide. Pancake took the unusual - perfect for him - middle initials from his real middle name - Dexter - and John, a name he took when he converted to Catholicism. The apostrophe was a typo that he willingly adapted. That conversion was one aspect of his typically deep and iconoclastic spiritual journey. He committed suicide while a graduate student at the University of Virginia.
Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press//Little, Brown and Company.1983. 178 pages with a Foreword by James Alan McPherson and Afterword by John Casey. Hardback in dust jacket.