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May 19, 2020 | Bobbie Wrinkle

What to Read: Kentucky Authors

Kentucky is home to some of the world’s most fascinating writers. Acquaint yourself with Kentucky’s diverse literature with these staff picks.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

A Parchment of Leaves
Author: Silas House
For Silas House, whose great-grandmother was Cherokee, this novel is also a tribute to the family whose spirit formed him.

An Atomic Romance
Author: Bobbie Ann Mason, Mark Bramhall
In An Atomic Romancewe meet Reed Futrell, a sexy, thoughtful hero who grapples with radioactive contamination, a midlife crisis, and string theory–all while fallingin love.

Icy Sparks
Author: Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Set in Appalachia during the late 1950s, this acclaimed first novel chronicles a young girl’s heartbreaking battle with Tourette’s syndrome.

Author: George Ella Lyon
George Ella Lyon is the award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and adults.

Country Dark
Author: Chris Offutt
Country Dark is a fierce noir-inflected novel about a good man pushed by circumstance into crime.

This is Home Now: Kentucky’s Holocaust Survivors Speak
Author: Arwen Donahue, Rebecca Howell
In This Is Home Now: Kentucky’s Holocaust Survivors Speak, oral historian Arwen Donahue and photographer Rebecca Gayle Howell focus on overlooked stories that unfold in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Appalachian Elegy Poetry and Place
Author: bell hooks
In Appalachian Elegy, bell hooks continues her work as an imagist of life’s harsh realities in a collection of poems inspired by her childhood in the isolated hills and hidden hollows of Kentucky.

All the King’s Men
Author: Robert Warren
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this classic book is generally regarded as the finest novel ever written on American politics.

Turn Me Loose
Author: Frank X Walker
Around the void left by the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963, the poems in this collection speak, unleashing the strong emotions both before and after the moment of assassination.

Home and Beyond An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories
Author: Morris Allen Grubbs
Arranged chronologically, from Robert Penn Warren’s “Blackberry Winter” to Crystal E. Wilkinson’s “Humming Back Yesterday,” these stories are linked by their juxtaposition of departures and returns, the familiar and the unknown, home and beyond.

The Man Who Loved Birds A Novel
Author: Fenton Johnson
Celebrated author Fenton Johnson has woven a seamless, haunting fable exploring the eternal conflicts between free will and destiny, politics and nature, the power of law and the power of love.

The Memory of Old Jack
Author: Wendell Berry
In a rural Kentucky river town, “Old Jack” Beechum, a retired farmer, sees his life again through the sades of one burnished day in September 1952.

All titles are available for download from Overdrive on the Libby app (iOS, Android) or Overdrive app (Kindle)