Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean (Paperback)
Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia
Ohio University Press, 9780821421680, 288pp.
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
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In Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray collect essays from today’s finest established and emerging writers with roots in Appalachia. Together, these essays take the theme of silencing in Appalachian culture, whether the details of that theme revolve around faith, class, work, or family legacies.
In essays that take wide-ranging forms—making this an ideal volume for creative nonfiction classes—contributors write about families left behind, hard-earned educations, selves transformed, identities chosen, and risks taken. They consider the courage required for the inheritances they carry.
Toughness and generosity alike characterize works by Dorothy Allison, bell hooks, Silas House, and others. These writers travel far away from the boundaries of a traditional Appalachia, and then circle back—always—to the mountains that made each of them the distinctive thinking and feeling people they ultimately became. The essays in Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean are an individual and collective act of courage.
Dorothy Allison, Rob Amberg, Pinckney Benedict, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Sheldon Lee Compton, Michael Croley, Richard Currey, Joyce Dyer, Sarah Einstein, Connie May Fowler, RJ Gibson, Mary Crockett Hill, bell hooks, Silas House, Jason Howard, David Huddle, Tennessee Jones, Lisa Lewis, Jeff Mann, Chris Offutt, Ann Pancake, Jayne Anne Phillips, Melissa Range, Carter Sickels, Aaron Smith, Jane Springer, Ida Stewart, Jacinda Townsend, Jessie van Eerden, Julia Watts, Charles Dodd White, and Crystal Wilkinson.
About the Author
Adrian Blevins was born in Abingdon, Virginia. She is the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, and two chapbooks. She has received a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Pushcart Prize, among others. She teaches at Colby College.
Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey was a National Book Critics Circle Notable Book. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven. The recipient of a National Endowment from the Arts Fellowship, McElmurray teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College.