Summoning the Dead
Essays on Ron Rash
The editors contend that Rash's work is increasingly relevant and important on regional, national, and global levels in part because of its popular and scholarly appeal and also its invaluable social critiques and celebrations, thus warranting academic attention. Wilhelm and Vernon argue that studying Rash is important because he encourages readers and critics alike to understand Appalachia in all its complexity and he consistently provides portrayals of the region that reveal both the beauty of its cultures and landscapes as well as the social and environmental pathologies that it continues to face.
The landscapes, peoples, and cultures that emerge in Rash's work represent and respond to not only Appalachia or the South, but also to national and global cultures. Firmly rooted in the mountain South, Rash's artistic vision weaves the truths of the human condition and the perils of the human heart in a poetic language that speaks deeply to us all. Through these essays, offering a range of critical and theoretical approaches that examine important aspects of Rash's work, Wilhelm and Vernon create a foundation for the future of Rash studies.
Robert Morgan, Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University and author of fourteen books of poetry and nine volumes of fiction including the New York Times bestselling novel Gap Creek, provides a foreword.
"Ron Rash has become one of the most important Appalachian writers. This collection will establish the terms for discussing Rash's work for the next generation of readers."—David A. Davis, Mercer University
"Summoning the Dead is a riveting collection on the ever-evolving, always lyric, consistently unforgettable oeuvre of Ron Rash. These essays—comprehensively researched, beautifully written, thoroughly accessible—illuminate what's impossible to ignore: Ron Rash has minted a trove of Appalachian literature that stamps him as wholly original, a writer of indisputable national stature."—Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina poet laureate (2012-14), author of The Life of the World to Come
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