Out of Peel Tree (Paperback)
Vandalia Press, 9781940425009, 160pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Moving through time and space, Out of Peel Tree unfolds the patterns of an Appalachian sensibility that reverberate everywhere: a fatalism balanced by humor and flinty, hard-won hope, an appreciation for the surprises of the everyday, and a search for love and home amid strange and familiar places and people.
This innovative debut novel reveals the lives of a far-flung contemporary Appalachian family through a web of delicate turning points. A child discovers a grandmother she never knew has died. A runaway teen schemes to start a new life in Texas. A man on parole falls hopelessly in love with a shoplifter. A woman receives a letter about her husband’s other wife. An old woman confronts a burglar with the help of her ghost-husband.
United by a connection to their matriarch, these characters search at home and beyond to make a fresh sense of their changing lives. As a novel in stories, Out of Peel Tree brings a new lyricism to the page and a new voice to American and Appalachian literature—a voice deeply inflected by the beauty of the natural world and by working-class grit.
About the Author
Praise For Out of Peel Tree…
Leigh Newman, Oprah’s Book Club 2.0
"Out of Peel Tree is an amazing book, alive with the enchantments of language and perception. Through one family’s experience of love, luck, and the meaning of home, Laura Long’s vibrant prose turns barebones, slim-hope existence into something capacious, endowing her characters and their adventures with richness and depth."
Daphne Kalotay, award-winning author of Sight Reading and Russian Winter
David Huddle, author of Only the Little Bone and The Story of a Million Years
Tracy Daugherty is the author of four novels, five short story collections, and biographies of Donald Barthelme and Joseph Heller. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Ann Pancake is the author of Given Ground, a collection of short stories and a novel,Strange As This Weather Has Been.
Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Half a Heart, has published novels, stories, poetry. Her book Cora Fry’s Pillow Book is a sequence of poems about a woman’s life in small-town New Hampshire.
Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly and Still Life with Plums
Clifford Garstang, author of What the Zhang Boys Know and 2013 recipient of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction.
Sara Pritchard, author of Help Wanted: Female and Crackpots
“Long is sensitive to the details of life and people. Her themes, characterizations, and story are built on a foundation of symbolism and imagery. She transforms the everyday—butter clogging bread, the shaking of cornflakes, an African Violet plant, wrinkles—into meaning. . . .This kind of layered writing creates the feeling that every word is important. Meaning reveals itself bit by bit, and the book invites a slower reading.”
Alicia Sondhi, ForeWord Reviews