Appalachian people are frequently depicted as poorly educated whites who isolate themselves in mountain hollows. In Seeking Home, editors Leslie Harper Worthington and Jurgen E. Grandt turn that stereotype upside down by showcasing Appalachia's ethnic diversity through a lively collection of essays discussing fiction, poetry, letters, and songs.
This distinct collection begins with a personal narrative in which Worthington relates how she discovered her own home through teaching Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies. Other essays range from the anticipated-Ron Rash, Barbara Kingsolver, Harriette Simpson Arnow-to the unanticipated-Charles Frazier's magical realism, a Confederate soldier's journals, and three different examinations of Affrilachian poets. Adding further texture to the collection are essays examining the diversity in Appalachian music, including Cherokee song and dance, a discussion of Appalachian mining songs, and an examination of recording technology and authenticity.
Seeking Home confirms that just as there are many Souths, there are also many Appalachias. The region is multifaceted, multicultural, and all we have to do is be willing to examine the variety.