Paperback / softback
July 1, 2014
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1.25 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Past Titan Rock

Journeys into an Appalachian Valley

In 1977 Ellesa Clay High thought she would spend an afternoon interviewing Lily May Ledford; best known as the lead performer of the first all-girl string band on radio. What she began was an unexpected adventure, a journey leading into the mountains of eastern Kentucky and one hundred years into the past.

Set in the colorful Red River Gorge, an area of steep ridges and box canyons, Past Titan Rock is an imaginative recreation of life in that region. With the guidance of Lily May Ledford, Ellesa High traveled and lived in the gorge for four years, visiting with people who could remember life there before the WPA built roads across the ridges into the valleys during the 1930s. With tape recorder in hand, she recorded the recollections of people who had lived in the gorge over a span of almost a hundred years.

What emerges through a unique combination of personal essay, oral history, and short fiction is a portrait of a mountain culture rich in custom, oral tradition, and song. This culture thrived along the Red River from the 1880s to the 1930s and included loggers and rivermen, hunters and trappers, midwives and moonshiners, farmers and sharecroppers. As they recall their memories and songs, their woodlore and folktales, their ghost stories and superstitions, the people and the past of the Red River Gorge come to life.

Authentic in detail, lyric in description, Past Titan Rock will engage readers interested in Appalachian culture, oral history, and old-time music. Through its blend of testimony and imagination, it suggests fresh ways of looking at the past—of how we interpret and create both history and literature.

About the Author

Ellesa Clay High is an assistant professor of English at West Virginia University.

9780813152578 : past-titan-rock-high
Paperback / softback
192 Pages
$45.00 USD

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