With all of our regional literary talent, Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café doesn’t have to look far to find great books to feature this summer, ones that pay attention to our Southern Appalachian region with its people, culture, history and natural beauty.
A Virginia public historian, Elizabeth Catte shares her book, What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, on Sunday, July 1, at 3 p.m. “In times of transformation or social upheaval, Americans have often turned to Appalachia to perform a kind of public soul searching about the country’s failures,” Catte says. “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia explores the history of those moments—most recently, the 2016 election—and invites readers to meet individuals past and present who complicate popular conceptions of the region as monolithic, regressive and complacent.”
On Sunday, July 15, at 3 p.m., Marci Spencer will talk about both of her histories of our national forests– Nantahala National Forest: A History and Pisgah National Forest: A History. Spending time in the national forests of Western North Carolina, we can’t miss the beauty, Spencer says. “But beneath that landscape of natural beauty,” she adds, “lies a human and cultural history that must be preserved and told—a history of descendants who once owned that land; a history of men and women who have fought to save its trails, fire towers, historic sites, rivers, wilderness areas, Cherokee heritage and unique ecosystems with rare species of plants and animals; and a history of an agency that works to balance the interests of all of its forest users for now and generations to come.”
Robert Gipe’s Weedeater, An Illustrated Novel will be featured on Wednesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. This latest book continues the story of his first novel, Trampoline. “Weedeater is based on my experiences in the Appalachian coalfields,” Gipe says, “specifically in Harlan County, KY, during the first decade of this century.” Gipe lives and works in Harlan and so, he says, his book “is as much about the wit and resilience of the people of Canard County—the book’s fictional setting— as it is about the awfulness of what can happen.”
Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café is located at 55 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. To see the full schedule of events for the month or to purchase tickets for special events, visit malaprops.com.