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River Of Earth

River Of Earth

with a Foreword by Dean Cadle
Copyright Date: 1978
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    River Of Earth
    Book Description:

    First published in 1940, James Still's masterful novel has become a classic. It is the story, seen through the eyes of a boy, of three years in the life of his family and their kin. He sees his parents pulled between the meager farm with its sense of independence and the mining camp with its uncertain promise of material prosperity. In his world privation, violence, and death are part of everyday life, accepted and endured. Yet it is a world of dignity, love, and humor, of natural beauty which Still evokes in sharp, poetic images. No writer has caught more effectively the vividness of mountain speech or shown more honestly the trials and joys of mountain life.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4635-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-x)

    James Still completedRiver of Earthin an ancient log house on a small eastern Kentucky farm, green and flowering, between Wolfpen Creek and Deadmare Branch in Knott County, where he continues to live and write, at ease among a valley of neighbors who often sound as though they have stepped out of his stories.

    A descendant of pioneers who settled early in the southern mountains, Still grew up in the Appalachian foothills of northern Alabama. When he moved to eastern Kentucky in 1932, the machine age in the hills was less than thirty years old; and of the millions...

  3. I
    (pp. 1-98)

    The mines on Little Carr closed in March. Winter had been mild, the snows scant and frost-thin upon the ground. Robins stayed the season through, and sapsuckers came early to drill the black birch beside our house. Though Father had worked in the mines, we did not live in the camps. He owned the scrap of land our house stood upon, a garden patch, and the black birch that was the only tree on all the barren slope above Blackjack. There were three of us children running barefoot over the puncheon floors, and since the year’s beginning Mother carried a...

  4. II
    (pp. 99-166)

    Fall had been dry and the giant milkweed pods broke early in September. Lean Neck Creek dried to a thread, and all the springs under the moss were damp pockets without a sound of water. Father had sent me over from Little Carr to stay with Grandma while Uncle Jolly laid out a spell in the county jail. Though Grandma was seventy-eight, she had patched two acres of corn. Even with the crows, the crab grass, and the dwarf stalks she had made enough bread to feed us through the winter. But there would be little for the mare. The...

  5. III
    (pp. 167-246)

    The hail of early June shredded the growing blades of corn, and a windstorm breaking over Little Angus Creek in July flattened the sloping fields; but the hardy stalks rose in the hot sun, and the fat ears fruited and ripened. The mines at Blackjack had closed again and Father had rented a farm that spring on the hills rising from the mouth of Flaxpatch on Little Angus. We moved there during a March freeze, and the baby died that week of croup. When sap lifted in sassafras and sourwood, Father sprouted the bush-grown patches, and plowed deep with a...