First published in 1973, this debut novel is the deeply moving coming-of-age story of Speer Whitfield, whose recollection of his upbringing and his large, remarkable, and often peculiar family evokes the forces that set the path for a boy’s growth into manhood in 1940s Appalachia.
A language feast, sweet and sad as the West Virginia landscape it describes. Ahead of its time when first published, this important novel now at last has a chance to find its true audience.’
Ed McClanahan, author of The Natural Man
A beautifully achieved novel, wrought in a prose warmed and contoured with kind of a sculptor’s touch, evoked in crystal-bright incidents which bend neither to sentiment nor easy bitterness.’
Scott Turow, San Francisco Chronicle
An excellent novel about a West Virginia childhood. Kinder has, to begin with, a good sense of his region: he has rested his story on the firmest possible bases, namely character and place. His dialogue, particularly that of his female characters, is first rate. One would like to secure for this excellently crafted book all the readers one can
Larry McMurtry, The Washington Post
Chuck Kinder is the author of four novels—Snakehunter, The Silver Ghost, Honeymooners, and Last Mountain Dancer—and three collections of poetry—Imagination Motel, All That Yellow, and Hot Jewels. As a professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh for more than three decades, Kinder served as the director of the creative writing program and helped foster the careers of Michael Chabon, Earl H. McDaniel, Chuck Rosenthal, Gretchen Moran Laskas, and Keely Bowers. He now lives in Key Largo, Florida, with Diane Cecily, his wife of over forty years.
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