The blossoming of Appalachian studies began some thirty years ago. Thousands of young people from the hills have since been made aware of their region’s rich literary tradition through high school and college courses. An entire generation has discovered that their own landscapes, families, and communities had been truthfully portrayed by writers whose background was similar to their own.
An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature is an anthology of literary criticism of Appalachian novelists, poets, and playwrights. The book reprises critical writing of influential authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Cratis Williams, and Jim Wayne Miller. It introduces new writing by Rodger Cunningham, Elizabeth Engelhardt, and others.
Many writers from the mountains have found success and acclaim outside the region, but the region itself as a thriving center of literary creativity has not been widely appreciated. The editors of An American Vein have remedied this, producing the first general collection of Appalachian literary criticism. This book is a resource for those who teach and read Appalachian literature. What’s more, it holds the promise of introducing new readers, nationally and internationally, to Appalachian literature and its relevance to our times.
A vivid archive of memories, Beth Alvarado’s Anthropologies layers scenes, portraits, dreams, and narratives in a dynamic cross-cultural mosaic. Bringing her lyrical tenor to bear on stories as diverse as harboring teen runaways, gunfights with federales, and improbable love, Alvarado unveils the ways in which seemingly separate moments coalesce to forge a communal truth. Woven from the threads of distinct family histories and ethnic identities, Anthropologies creates a heightened understanding of how individual experiences are part of a larger shared fabric of lives.
Few artists have ever been so beloved—or so controversial among art critics—as Andrew Wyeth. The groundbreaking book Artists of Wyeth Country presents an unauthorized and unbiased biographical portrait of Wyeth, based on interviews with family, friends, neighbors—even actress Eva Marie Saint. Journalist W. Barksdale Maynard shines new light on the reclusive artist, emphasizing Wyeth’s artistic debt to Howard Pyle as well as his surprising interest in surrealism. The book is filled with brand-new information and fresh interpretations.
Artists of Wyeth Country also comprises the first-ever guidebook to the artistic world of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, center of the Brandywine Tradition begun by Howard Pyle. Six in-depth tours for walking or driving allow the reader to stand exactly where N. C. and Andrew Wyeth stood, as has never been fully possible before.
As Maynard explains, Andrew Wyeth’s artistic process was influenced by Henry David Thoreau’s nature-worship and by his habit of walking daily. Newly commissioned maps, rare aerial photographs, as well as glorious full-color images and artworks of the landscape (many never reproduced before) illustrate the text.
A fascinating exploration of the world of Andrew Wyeth, Artists of Wyeth Country is sure to become an essential new source for those who love American art as well as for admirers of the scenic landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic, of which the Brandywine Valley is an exceptional example. As a rare, unauthorized biography of Andrew Wyeth, it opens the door for an entirely new understanding of the American master.
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