Daphne Kalotay, award-winning author of Sight Reading and Russian Winter, calls Out of Peel Tree “an amazing book, alive with the enchantments of language and perception.”
David Huddle, author of Only the Little Bone and The Story of a Million Years believes this debut novel “brilliantly offers a new vision and shines a light on the path ahead.”
Ann Pancake, author of Given Ground and Strange As This Weather Has Been says Out of Peel Tree “awakens its readers not just to fresh perspectives, but even to fresh forms of consciousness.”
Moving through time and space, Out of Peel Tree unfolds the patterns of an Appalachian sensibility that reverberate everywhere: a fatalism balanced by humor and flinty, hard-won hope, an appreciation for the surprises of the everyday, and a search for love and home amid strange and familiar places and people.
This innovative debut novel reveals the lives of a far-flung contemporary Appalachian family through a web of delicate turning points. A child discovers a grandmother she never knew has died. A runaway teen schemes to start a new life in Texas. A man on parole falls hopelessly in love with a shoplifter. A woman receives a letter about her husband’s other wife. An old woman confronts a burglar with the help of her ghost-husband. United by a connection to their matriarch, these characters search at home and beyond to make a fresh sense of their changing lives.
As a novel in stories, Out of Peel Tree brings a new lyricism to the page and a new voice to American and Appalachian literature—a voice deeply inflected by the beauty of the natural world and by working-class grit.
Long, a native of Buckhannon, W.Va., has received a James Michener Fellowship, James River Writers Award, Donald Barthelme Fellowship, PEN-Texas Award, Virginia Center for Creative Arts fellowships, and has published in magazines including The Southern Review and Shenandoah. She is the author of two books of poems: Imagine a Door and The Eye of Caroline Herschel: A Life in Poems. She teaches at Lynchburg College in Virginia, has taught in numerous community and university settings in Austin, Houston, and far west Texas, and will teach at the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program at West Virginia Wesleyan College during the summer of 2014. She lives in Charlottesville, Va.
To order this book, visit wvupress.com, phone (800) 621-2736, or visit a local bookstore.
Out of Peel Tree by Laura Long
April 2014/140pp/PB 978-1-940425-00-9: $16.99/ePub 978-1-940425-01-6:$16.99
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