The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Women

Stories of Landscape and Community in the Mountain South

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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2023

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Description

In 1966 in Rabun County, Georgia, a group of high school English students created the Foxfire magazine, a literary journal that celebrated Appalachian stories, peoples, and culture. The publication was filled with poetry and prose from local students and authors and featured interviews with community members. These oral histories quickly became the focal point of the magazine and, eventually, the material that generated the multivolume Foxfire book series.

Now, pulled from the vast Foxfire archive comes the first volume in the series focused specifically on the lives of Appalachian women. These remarkable narratives illuminate a diverse regional culture held together by the threads that are woven between women and place, and through generations. Told sometimes with humor, sometimes with sadness, but always with a gripping rawness and honesty, the stories recount women’s lived experiences from the 1960s to the present. The interviews cover work, family, and community, illuminating Cherokee, Black, and white women’s experiences; changes in Appalachian culture; and the importance of relationships in daily life. Reading each interview in this book is almost like joining these women on their porches and in their homes as they take us on a journey through their lives. Taken together, the stories speak against regional stereotypes and offer instead a sampling of the many expressions of these women’s strength.

Kami Ahrens is curator and director of education at the Foxfire Museum.

In 1966 in Rabun County, Georgia, a group of high school English students created the Foxfire magazine, a literary journal that celebrated Appalachian stories, peoples, and culture. The publication...


Advance Praise

"These authentic, unaffected firsthand accounts show that we have much to learn from these women—their compelling knowledge has enlivened these communities and is critical to a broader understanding of place." —Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, author of Even As We Breathe and former executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation

"These complex, powerful narratives expand our perspectives on this region and the women who live there, particularly offering counternarratives to those who romanticize Appalachia or otherwise misrepresent mountain residents." —Sandra L. Ballard, Appalachian State University

"Kami Ahrens has selected a rich collection of powerful and compelling oral histories that reminds us of Foxfire’s extraordinary and enduring legacy." —Brent D. Glass, director emeritus, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

"Foxfire publications have long been essential to understanding Appalachia and folk traditions. This new, expertly edited book offers selections that are incisive and diverse, presenting timeless voices and amplifying their resonance in present times." —Rose McLarney, author of Forage and editor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia

"These authentic, unaffected firsthand accounts show that we have much to learn from these women—their compelling knowledge has enlivened these communities and is critical to a broader understanding...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781469670034
PRICE $25.00 (USD)

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