Appalachia North by Matthew Ferrence

Updated: Aug 28


Our next round of discussion titles will circle the idea of the writer: biographies, memoirs, and fictional writer protagonists.


We'll meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM at the Michael Kusalaba Brach of the Public Library. Many thanks to the library and YSU Barnes & Noble for stocking these books. We'll kick off the series Thursday, September 9 with a memoir by Fall Literary Festival 2021 presenter Matthew Ferrence. Appalachia North is available from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County via the reserve or Search Ohio systems.

"Appalachia North is the first book-length treatment of the cultural position of northern Appalachia—roughly the portion of the official Appalachian Regional Commission zone that lies above the Mason-Dixon line. For Matthew Ferrence this region fits into a tight space of not-quite: not quite 'regular' America and yet not quite Appalachia. Ferrence’s sense of geographic ambiguity is compounded when he learns that his birthplace in western Pennsylvania is technically not a mountain but, instead, a dissected plateau shaped by the slow, deep cuts of erosion. That discovery is followed by the diagnosis of a brain tumor, setting Ferrence on a journey that is part memoir, part exploration of geology and place. Appalachia North is an investigation of how the labels of Appalachia have been drawn and written, and also a reckoning with how a body always in recovery can, like a region viewed always as a site of extraction, find new territories of growth." Upcoming titles

October 14 No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum November 11 My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout December 9 Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith January 13 Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer February 10 Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie Glaude March 10 World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil April 14 The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea May 12 The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Stephen Heyman

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