White trash have been with us since colonial times – though they often went by other names. That’s the contention of historian Nancy Isenberg in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. Isenberg also destroys assumptions about America’s allegedly class-free society in which all one needed wereContinue Reading

Archetypes are essential to a deeper understanding and appreciation of film and literature. Popularized by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in the early 20th century, the word archetype is defined as a recurring symbol or motif found in traditional storytelling. This definition particularly refers to the recurrence of characters and plotsContinue Reading

People wondering what all the fuss is about concerning J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Ron Howard’s screen adaptation of the book will find answers to that query in Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, a series of essays by diverse voices about a variety of topics bringing AppalachiaContinue Reading

Protection Bricking the house against the happy jaws of wolves, my father and his tawny hired man, backs drawn deep in conspiracy, slapped mortar onto trowels, eyes migrating to as distance beyond clouds. Heat swam around them, requiring the huge delusion of some believable project to produce it. Neither spokeContinue Reading

It started as a lark. Six of us guys sat watching TV one evening in our college dormitory lobby. Someone absently picked up a copy of the local newspaper lying on the sofa. “Hey, here’s something we can do,” Joe M. announced. (Names are abbreviated to protect the chronically stupid.)Continue Reading

Growing up in the shadow of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a city socially stratified according to altitude, I fell under the spell of native author Christine Noble Govan, whose specialty was children’s mystery novels set in or near the city’s scenic attractions. A prolific writer of more than 50Continue Reading

  All aficionados of Southern literature know that William Faulkner’s literary landscape was the alluvial soil of the Mississippi Delta, the author’s “postage stamp corner of the world,” in his own memorable phrase. However, Faulkner’s biographers often overlook or downplay his connections to Tennessee. For instance, Faulkner’s great-grandfather and namesake,Continue Reading

The myth of the Old West exerts a tremendous influence on the popular imagination. Zane Grey pulp novels, countless TV series, and iconic Western films ensure that the cowboy remains a uniquely American archetype representing in one writer’s words, “movement, isolation, change, and new beginnings.” Of course, the outlaw isContinue Reading

The following excerpt was taken from Edward Francisco‘s introduction, “Appalachia Recognized,” in The South in Perspective:  An Anthology of Southern Literature (2001 Prentice Hall p.1058-59) This anthology is the only Southern literary compilation to feature Appalachian literature as its own category. Works from writers within the region are acknowledged andContinue Reading

Enjoy another sneak peak at Edward Francisco‘s forthcoming book, The Ever Changing Sky:  Meditations on the Psalms (Resource Publishers). Look for it in 2021!                 Psalm 57 “My soul is among lions:  and I lie even among them that are set on fire,Continue Reading