**On a mobile format this book review is best viewed using landscape orientation.    Danita Dodson is a contemplative, a mystic, and an alchemist whose feet are planted solidly in the turf of the natural world – particularly that of East Tennessee. As the poems in her debut collection, TrailingContinue Reading

Chris Offutt is a Kentucky novelist who lives in Oxford, Mississippi, while teaching in the English department at Ole Miss. He is arguably best known for his memoir, My Father, the Pornographer (Simon and Schuster, 2015). Offutt describes how his father and mother collaborated in writing pornography in order toContinue Reading

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

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

Two kinds of hollows exist in the mountains. The first kind is the nice, pleasant, winding road that leads to a lake or park out in the boonies. The second kind is an offshoot from that nice road and it snakes down into a deep, dark holler. I grew upContinue Reading

If you read my review of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, then you’ll recognize that Elizabeth Catte’s What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia has done my work for me, though we arrived at similar conclusions independently. Catte is a historian with more than simply an anecdotal interest in Appalachia. WhereasContinue Reading

“Shut up, you fucker. You smart-ass. If I wasn’t crippled, I’d get up right now and smack your head and ass together.” – Mamaw from J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy   My suspicion is that J.D. Vance tries to shock his readers by pretending he’s unfazed by his family’s white trashContinue Reading