Midwinter roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events


In a starred review, Kirkus calls Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy “a welcome and valuable resource for anyone studying or writing about this much-maligned region,” singling out for praise the volume’s “nuanced considerations of race, sexuality, and drug use.” The title also earns a starred review from Foreword, which calls it “stunning in its intellectual and creative riches.” Humanities Tennessee excerpts Robert Gipe’s “How Appalachian I Am,” an essay from the collection, in its magazine Chapter 16. 

Sharon Harris’s “masterful” Rebecca Harding Davis: A Life among Writers has been named an outstanding title for 2018 by Choice, a publication of the American Library Association. The annual list reflects the best scholarly titles reviewed by Choice, and recognizes “outstanding works for their excellence in presentation and scholarship.”

Choice also praises Never Justice, Never Peace: Mother Jones and the Miner Rebellion at Paint and Cabin Creeks, which it calls “a fascinating and accessible historical account.” Author Ginny Savage Ayers will participate in the Women-Led Social Justice Movements reading in Knoxville on February 7.

J. L. Anderson’s Capitalist Pigs is reviewed in Publishers Weekly, which says “Anderson’s investigation is thorough, focusing on economic and social impacts, and, when appropriate, unflinching.”

Our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Deadand the author of our introduction, Catherine Venable Moore—are included in the digital version of a report about the Hawks Nest Tunnel tragedy from NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Tom Hansell’s After Coal continues to generate praise. In The State Journal, Brooks McCabe calls it “an excellent book focusing on one of West Virginia’s biggest challenges,” while the Asheville Citizen-Times says “the book is reminiscent of the work of Studs Terkel.” Hansell will join guests from multiple schools and departments to talk about his book at the WVU College of Law on January 28. He’ll also appear at several bookstores this winter, including Book Culture in Manhattan, where he’ll talk with Steven Stoll, author of Ramp Hollow, and Sarah Jones of New York Magazine. C-SPAN will tape the event, which is cohosted with Harper’s.

Travis Stimeling talks with the Charleston Gazette-Mail about his book Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia.

Arlan Hess of City Books recommends Natalie Sypolt’s The Sound of Holding Your Breath in Pittsburgh City Paper. Sypolt’s book also makes the year-end list from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, along with Never Justice, Never Peace.

The interview program Shelf Life features Matthew Ferrence, author of Appalachia North. Ferrence will read from his work in Erie and Huntington this winter.

James Lang talks about editing WVU’s series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education on the Research in Action podcast from Oregon State University. In other news from Lang’s series, Joshua Eyler, author of How Humans Learn, appears on the Tea for Teaching podcast from SUNY Oswego.

The International Journal for Academic Development praises Meaningful Grading as “a rich resource for educational developers.”

Visit our calendar for a full roster of upcoming readings.

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