Burnt House to Paw Paw: Appalachian Notes (Literature Profile Series)

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9781889097053: Burnt House to Paw Paw: Appalachian Notes (Literature Profile Series)

A collection of essays that grew from the authors travels along the folkloric backroads of Appalachia.

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From the Publisher:

A beautiful and moving elegy to the southern mountain range that Gilfillan was born on the edge of. He writes with the same gentle but insightful affection about the naitive fauna and flora as about the characters that live in the shadows of the legendary hills. This work, like Magpie Rising is a mixture of careful observation, lyrical description, folklore and a country boy's sensitivity to the endless wonder elicited by mother nature, in spite of 20th century encroachments on her territory.

From the Author:

I was reared in an Ohio town precisely on the edge of the Appalachian mountain system, a village located such that a drive to the west opens immediately onto the level land of glaciated prairie with bluestem waving here and there along the highway, while within a mile of the town limits to the east you are into something entirely different—the first roll and rise of the hills, and, eventually, a couple of hours to the southeast, the fold of the full Appalachians.

I marvel at the revelatory precision of that placement now more than I did back then, I am sure. But there was always a sense of that geographical inception that made the very word Appalachian hang brighter than it might have otherwise. It was a daily connection of sorts, with the sensation of standing at the foot of something, of standing on a conceptual beach just at breakers’ edge.

And even now that is how I often get to the Appalachians: from my parents’ home I leave town to the east with the unspoken but satisfying feeling that I am witnessing the whole thing. Within five minutes I am underway, climbing the range, from the first gully and buckle on up. Down the Licking River, through the plush, loamy moundbuilder country, curling up over Flint Ridge. . .

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