We strive to bring you the best writing from this vital region: writing meant to reveal and share a sense of people and place.
by Sheldon Lee Compton
Wade “Brown Bottle” Taylor is an alcoholic uncle trying to protect his nephew Nick from the hardness of their region, Eastern Kentucky, and the world in general. To end Nick's involvement with drugs and drug dealers in the area, Brown must first save himself, overcoming a lifetime spent convinced he is unworthy. Brown Bottle's journey is one of selflessness and love, redemption and sacrifice, if only for a time.
~ Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time…..
"Sheldon Lee Compton is one of the new young breed of Kentucky writers--talented, fearless, and strong--bringing us word from the hills."
~ Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight
A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind and Other Stories
by Michael Henson
"Michael Henson is the Philip Levine of the urban Appalachian working class. His writing is so immediate that you feel the vibrations of guitar strings and sirens, smell beer and sweat, and hear broken glass crunch under your feet. Nothing is pretty in this world, but much is beautiful, seen through Henson’s compassion for his characters and his clarity about generations wrecked by capitalism without conscience. It is our shame as a society that A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind speaks even louder in 2016 than it did when it was first published over thirty years ago. We need this book." ~George Ella Lyon, author of Many-Storied House,
"Mike Henson’s A Small Room With Trouble On My Mind, with its gritty realism and almost utopian faith in the transformative power of art, it provides a compelling voice for yet another disenfranchised, marginalized, and still misunderstood group in American society. Originally published in 1983, Henson’s book continues to resonate. It’s great to have it back in print." ~Norman Finkelstein, Xavier University
Contemporary Fiction of Appalachia
Editors: Larry Smith and Charles Dodd White
Just Out ~ June 2015
Authors: Darnell Arnoult, Rusty Barnes, Matt Brock, Taylor Brown, Chris Holbrook, David Joy, Marie Manilla, Charles Dodd White, Mesha Maren, Carrie Mullins, Chris Offutt, Mark Powell, Jon Sealy, Savannah Sipple, Jacinda Townsend, Meredith Sue Willis
*This book is a follow-up to the best selling Degrees of Elevation anthology published by Bottom Dog Press in 2010.
Degrees of Elevation:
Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia
A wonderful and rich collection of some of our best fiction writers treating the American landscape of Appalachia and its people.
186 pgs. 978-1-933964-39-3
Gifted and Talented: A Novel
Rachel sends her son Crispin to honors magnet elementary school. Here they meet a variety of academically and socially pushy parents and their children. During their adventures of one school year, the bias of a system that categorizes instead of teaches and accepts is exposed. Racial, economic, and intellectual bigotry are all encountered--sometimes with laughter, sometimes with tears, but always with insight.
GIFTED AND TALENTED slyly considers the definition of sanity in the context of gifted education for children. Cheerfully irreverent and broadly empathetic, this page turner is an extraordinary combination of brilliant comedy and cautionary tale. Characters are too rich, thin, poor, smart, New Age, religious, and driven, yet it's the steady alternative families who exhibit wisdom and live life so lustily it creates envy in the reader. Should third graders be asked to perform to such impossible standards? Anyone who has been there and done that will nod in recognition while appreciating the devilishly good prose of the very gifted and talented Ms. Watts. ~Lynn Pruett, author of Ruby River
In our Appalachian Writing Series...204 pages...$17
Sinners of Sanction County: Stories
by Charles Dodd White
Fine stories of character and place set
in the South
In our Appalachia Fiction Series
Sinners of Sanction County is one of the best story collections to come out of the American South in recent times. Writing in a spare, poetic style that fairly crackles with energy, Charles Dodd White makes his mark as a major new talent as he masterfully explores the raw beauty and pathos of life among tough people caught in bad situations. With this book, he has nailed the coonskin to the wall. -- Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All The Time and Knockemstiff
"True, Hawkins buried his son more than once that summer," begins "Hawkins' Boy," the lead story in Sins of Sanction County. "Buried" is the key foreshadowing in this first line because the subsequent stories are full of attempts to bury the past and the dead and, sometimes, entomb the living. White renders stories that burrow deep to the pit of private pain, revealing an ever-burning blaze too powerful to battle that we should quietly let engulf us, and learn to suffer the eventual scarring.
Although White's sensibilities will surely evoke similarities to fellow Southern writers as Ron Rash and William Gay, I felt his kinship more in line with Walt Whitman, who, like White, extoled in the ecstatic naturalism of the world, supplanting the inherent foibles of human nature with the disinterested glory of everlasting nature as elicited in this passage from "Hawkin's Boy" ~Matt Baker, Oxford America
160 pgs. $16.00