Appalachia’s triumphs and tragedies, its beauty and mystery, and its people’s tenacity, love and good humor have long been enshrined in fiction. This year, stories of the region’s struggles with coal are reaching a national audience thanks to John Grisham’s bestselling “Gray Mountain,” a legal thriller that pits a small but dedicated team of individuals against a rapacious coal industry. Also spreading awareness, the debut novel from Christopher Scotton weaves the impacts of mountaintop removal mining into a poignant story of humanity and healing.
Across the region, writers are offering brilliant new work of all stripes, including several don’t-miss endeavors reviewed here. We also take a look at the many ways regional writers are taking advantage of the freedoms afforded by the self-publishing movement.
To find more of the best recent writing on Appalachia, we suggest a visit to your local librarian!