It is summer in the Appalachian mountains and love, desire and attraction are in the air. From her outpost in an isolated mountain cabin, Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches a den of coyotes. She is caught off guard by a young hunter who invades her most private spaces and interrupts her solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land that has become her own. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly feuding neighbours tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the possibilities of a future neither of them expected. Over the course of one humid summer, these characters find their connections of love to one another and to the surrounding nature with which they share a place. With its strong balance of narrative and drama, Prodigal Summer is stands alongside The Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna as one of Barbara Kingsolver's finest works.
Much criticism has been directed at negative stereotypes of Appalachia perpetuated by movies, television shows, and news media. Books, on the other hand, often draw enthusiastic praise for their celebration of the simplicity and authenticity of the Appalachian region. Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 employs the innovative new strategy of examining fan mail, reviews, and readers' geographic affiliations to understand how readers have imagined the region and what purposes these imagined geographies have served for them. As Emily Satterwhite traces the changing visions of Appalachia across the decades, from the Gilded Age (1865--1895) to the present, she finds that every generation has produced an audience hungry for a romantic version of Appalachia. According to Satterwhite, best-selling fiction has portrayed Appalachia as a distinctive place apart from the mainstream United States, has offered cosmopolitan white readers a sense of identity and community, and has engendered feelings of national and cultural pride. Thanks in part to readers' faith in authors as authentic representatives of the regions they write about, Satterwhite argues, regional fiction often plays a role in creating and affirming regional identity. By mapping the geographic locations of fans, Dear Appalachia demonstrates that mobile white readers in particular, including regional elites, have idealized Appalachia as rooted, static, and protected from commercial society in order to reassure themselves that there remains an "authentic" America untouched by global currents. Investigating texts such as John Fox Jr.'s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), Harriette Arnow's The Dollmaker (1954), James Dickey's Deliverance (1970), and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (1997), Dear Appalachia moves beyond traditional studies of regional fiction to document the functions of these narratives in the lives of readers, revealing not only what people have thought about Appalachia, but why.
Barbara Kingsolver—a writer of fiction, documentary, verse and essay—supports entertaining stories with profound themes of ecological responsibility and defense of human rights. This work is an introduction and overview of the author’s literary achievements, opening with an annotated chronology of Kingsolver’s life, activism, works, and awards, followed by a family tree. The 122 alphabetical entries in the main text provide data and analysis on characters, dates, historical figures and events, allusions, literary motifs, and themes from Kingsolver’s works, combining insights with generous citations from primary and secondary sources. Each entry concludes with a selected bibliography. Appendices include a timeline of events in The Poisonwood Bible, a list of 46 writing and research topics, a bibliography, and a comprehensive index.
Deanna was eighteen when she married a handsome Frenchman, attorney Marc-Edouard Duras. Now, at thirty-seven, she should be happy with Marc, her elegant home in San Francisco, and their teenage daughter, Pilar. But one summer changes it all when she realizes her failing marriage is a trap she must escape. From the Paperback edition.
This encyclopedia introduces readers to American poetry, fiction and nonfiction with a focus on the environment (broadly defined as humanity’s natural surroundings), from the discovery of America through the present. The work includes biographical and literary entries on material from early explorers and colonists such as Columbus, Bartolomé de Las Casas and Thomas Harriot; Native American creation myths; canonical 18th- and 19th-century works of Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne, Twain, Dickinson and others; to more recent figures such as Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Stanley Cavell, Rachel Carson, Jon Krakauer and Al Gore. It is meant to provide a synoptic appreciation of how the very concept of the environment has changed over the past five centuries, offering both a general introduction to the topic and a valuable resource for high school and university courses focused on environmental issues.