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The Winter People by John Ehle

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John Ehle stands as one of the leading Appalachian authors of the 20th Century.  His eleven novels, taken together, encompass the history of his native Western North Carolina, They are complemented by six nonfiction books. An activist as well as an author, Ehle participated in the local Civil Rights Movement during the ten years he was a professor at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, and later wrote a book about, it.  He quit his job as a professor to join the electoral campaign and then the staff of Governor Terry Sanford. His accomplishments there, including establishing the North Carolina School for the Arts, led to a job with the Ford Foundation. Later in life, he married the renowned British actress, Rosemary Harris. They live in Winston-Salem, but maintain homes in Penland, New York, and London. Set in the 1930s, The Winter People could just as easily portray the lives of some mountain people decades later. Kirkus Reviews wrote, “A fine book, rich and haunting and a source of great, deep pleasure.” The Washington Post called it “A lovely novel . . . a very substantial piece of work, thoroughly satisfying in every important respect.” Newsweek wrote, “A spare, funny, harrowing, moving novel drawn with sure, swift strokes.”

Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Press 53, A 2017 reprint of a 1981 release. 271 pages. Trade paperback