Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family

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Product Details

Ohio University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.8 X 0.57 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author

Sarah Beth Childers is a lecturer in English at West Virginia University. She has also served as a visiting professor of creative nonfiction at West Virginia Wesleyan College.


"Childers's collection of carefully arranged family vignettes reveals a master storyteller sharing the tales of her yarn-spinning clan over the generations."--"Around Cincinnati," WVXU-NPR
"Wonderfully rich and beautifully written ... the collection is also self-aware and articulate about storytelling as an art and as a profoundly human means of creating meaning. Storytelling is furthermore a powerful folkway in Appalachian life, and one of the main themes of the book.... It is a deeply worthwhile and fascinating collection."
--Meredith Sue Willis, author of Out of the Mountains
"Shake Terribly the Earth announces a new, clear voice in Appalachian nonfiction, free of cant, free of even the rumor of a stereotype. Sarah Beth Childers's family saga engages the griefs of the region in many ways--times have been difficult in her native West Virginia--but a thread of joyfulness, like light, winds through these essays, as stories accumulated by generations at last find voice in Childers's telling. It is a pleasure, rare and true, to sit with this book and listen."
--Kevin Oderman, author of White Vespa and How Things Fit Together
"The West Virginia childhood that Sarah Beth Childers gives us in Shake Terribly the Earth is hardscrabble, pietistic, and loving. Disability checks, pizza, and Mountain Dew along with the Holy Spirit inflect this clear-eyed and moving portrait of a young woman's coming of age in one deep corner of the American Landscape."
--Peter Balakian, author of Black Dog of Fate
"This is a book to rattle us awake and stir in our blood forgotten memories of family and faith, of fire and flood. Shake Terribly the Earth introduces us to a young writer mightily engaged with the world before her. There is wisdom in these pages. Music bellows from the words."
--Glenn Taylor, author of The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart and The Marrowbone Marble Company
"Beautifully written, nostalgic, and indeed unique, this work will be welcomed by those who enjoy memoir or American regional history and by anyone interested in Appalachian culture."--Library Journal