Friday, November 14, 2008

Kentucky Authors and Poets

After my post on Tuesday, I felt that I ought to give writers from my home state props. So here, in no particular order and subject to change, are my current favorite books by Kentucky writers:

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. The closest you'll ever come to reading a river.

Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York poems by Frank X Walker. The story of York, William Clark's slave and a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, told through York's own, beautifully imagined, voice.

The Coal Tattoo by Silas House. The sisters in this novel are an Applachian Sense and Sensibility pairing, but the story is House's own and very Kentuckian: relationships lost, broken, and mended; drinking; baptism; coal; land rights; and religion.

The Mother on the Other Side of the World: Poems by James Baker Hall. I have a feeling, from the readings I've been to, that anything by this former Poet Laureate of Kentucky is good poetry; this just happens to be the book I have right now.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm sad that I haven't read more by Kingsolver because the characters in this novel are so well-drawn. I know that Kingsolver is no longer in Kentucky, but there's no denying the Kentucky influence here.

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