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About Edward Karshner
Edward Karshner was born in Ross County, Ohio and grew up in the Salt Creek Valley of Southeast Appalachia Ohio which draws together Ross, Hocking, and Pickaway Counties. He researches and writes about Appalachian folklore, magic, and mysticism. Karshner enjoys autumn in the Hocking Hills, Chillicothe Paints baseball, and the Circleville Pumpkin Show. He lives in Northeast Ohio with his wife Kim, their children James and Alexandria, and a mixed breed dog named Carlos.
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2020 American Book Award winner, Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award
Weatherford Award winner, nonfiction
With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region’s future?
Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia’s intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities.
This is an anthology of nontraditional Appalachian ghost tales (not horror stories). It's not that we don't like the classics. Rather, we're ready for something new.
A note about the caution words (CW) and keywords (KW) at the beginning of each story: The caution words are in place because all readers have different experiences and some might be emotionally triggered by situations that might not trigger others. They are included out of respect for our readers. The keywords are a search mechanism. If you wish to read a story on family within the anthology, such stories are easy to locate, so are ones on dogs, spirits, etc. It's as simple as that.
Stories by order of appearance:
Part One: Short doesn’t mean necessarily sweet.
"Messages" by Deborah Marshall
"Miss Vera" by Brenda M. G’Fellers
"Can Johnny Come Home with Us?" by Rebecca Lynn
"Strays" by Brenda M. G’Fellers
"A Visit from a Peculiar Entity" by Jeanne G’Fellers
Part Two: Here’s to sad songs, rabid beasts, and things best left unseen.
"Singin’ Sally" by Sarah Elizabeth
"Survival" by Brenda M. G’Fellers
"Born with a Veil" by Jules Corriere
"The Neighbors are Fantastic" by Jeanne G’Fellers
"Pieces and Parts" by Anne G’Fellers-Mason
"As Light Fades" by Kristin Pearson
Part Three: Pull up a chair… if you ain’t too scared.
"Great Uncle’s Rocking Chair" by Jeanne G’Fellers
"Causing a Scene" by Anne G’Fellers-Mason
"The Salt Creek Valley Monkey Dog" by Edward Karshner
A historical monster tale drawn from Mountain Gap Book’s Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales of Appalachia anthology.