The Climb from Salt Lick
276 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Apr 2018
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The Climb from Salt Lick

A Memoir of Appalachia

West Virginia University Press, Vandalia Press
In the mid-1970s, Nancy L. Abrams, a young photojournalist from the Midwest, plunges into life as a small-town reporter in West Virginia. She befriends the hippies on the commune one mountaintop over, rents a cabin in beautiful Salt Lick Valley, and falls in love with a local boy, wrestling to balance the demands of a job and a personal life. She learns how to survive in Appalachia—how to heat with coal and wood, how to chop kindling, plant a garden, and preserve produce.

The Climb from Salt Lick is the remarkable memoir of an outsider coming into adulthood. It is the story of a unique place and its people from the perspective of a woman who documents its burdens and its beauty, using words and pictures to tell the rich stories of those around her.
This memoir is a love story—for a West Virginia man, for a West Virginia journalism career, and ultimately, for the state itself. Abrams’s palpable love for West Virginia allows her to combine the wonder of an intelligent, respectful outsider with the passion of an Appalachia native.’
—Sarah Beth Childers, author of Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family
A must-read for West Virginians. For journalists and would-be journalists. For feminists, young and old. And mothers. For old hippies and anybody who came of age in the sixties and seventies. For anybody who’s taken a toke or two. For anybody who has tried to balance integrity with duty, dropping out with pursuing a career while trying to succeed as a breadwinner and parent.’
—Sara Pritchard,  author of Help Wanted: Female and Crackpots
Abrams writes sharply and passionately, with a journalist’s skill at laying out compelling facts, and with an artist’s ability to make us experience this life with her.’
—Meredith Sue Willis, author of Out of the Mountains: Appalachian Stories 
Nancy Abrams is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she trained as a photojournalist. She has worked as a photographer, writer, and editor at the Preston County News, the Dominion Post, and Panorama. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from The New School and has been a professional writer and photographer for four decades. 

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