Edited by Robert J. Higgs, Ambrose N. Manning, and Jim Wayne Miller These two volumes constitute the most comprehensive anthology of writings on Appalachia ever assembled. Representing the work of approximately two hundred authors—fiction writers, poets, scholars in disciplines such as history, literary criticism, and sociology—Appalachia Inside Out reveals the fascinating diversity of the region and lays to rest many of the reductive stereotypes long associated with it.
Intended as a sequel to the widely respected collection Voices of the Hills, edited by Robert Higgs and Ambrose Manning and published twenty years ago, these volumes reflect the recent proliferation of imaginative and critical writing about Appalachia—a proliferation that suggests nothing less than a renaissance of collective self-assessment. The selections are organized around a variety of themes (including "War and Revolution," "Feuds and Violence," "Nature and Progress," "Dialect and Language," "Exile, Return, and Sense of Place," and "Majority and Minority") and reveal both the radical changes the region has undergone as well as the persistence of certain defining features.
The title Appalachia Inside Out refers in part to the fact that Appalachia has never existed in timeless isolation from the rest of country and the world; rather, it has both absorbed outside influences and exerted influence of its own. The title also indicates the editors' effort to look not only at the visible Appalachia but at the forces that underlie its history and culture. What emerges in these pages is an Appalachia both familiar and strange: a mirror of lived life on the one hand and, on the other, a haunted realm of unimaginable loss and bewitching possibility.
The Editors: Robert J. Higgs is professor of English, emeritus, at East Tennessee State University and the author of Laurel and Thorn: The Athlete in American Literature.
Ambrose N. Manning is professor of English, emeritus, at East Tennessee State University and a noted collector of folk songs and folklore.
Jim Wayne Miller, a poet, novelist, and essayist, is a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies at Western Kentucky University.