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My Appalachia: A Memoir

by Sidney Saylor Farr

Availableweb pdf$40.00x 978-0-8131-4567-9
Availableepub$40.00x 978-0-8131-4568-6
Availablecloth$40.00x 978-0-8131-2450-6
272 pages  Pubdate: 04/23/2014  6 x 9  30 photos

Although Sidney Saylor Farr is renowned in the field of Appalachian studies, her own fascinating personal history has been little known until now. My Appalachia is Farr’s story of growing up in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, where her devotion to her family led her to accept crushing responsibilities that steered her away from her own goals. Her intense determination, however, compelled her to find her own path in life and gave her the strength to become one of the most influential figures in her discipline. At the age of twelve, Farr was forced to leave school to care for her ailing mother and several younger siblings. Given the responsibilities of adulthood early in life, she pushed herself through countless challenges, including poverty, discrimination, and personal loss. Yet she managed to thrive—she educated herself, raised two sons, and became a voice for her family, community, and culture. In My Appalachia, Farr shares the stories of her struggles and triumphs to create a vivid picture of a culture as enduring as the mountains. Composed of a rich mix of folklore, family history, and spiritual and intellectual exploration, My Appalachia reveals the beauty at the heart of life in Appalachia.

Sidney Saylor Farr is a former editor of Appalachian Heritage and a former Berea College staff member. Her writing has appeared in Mountain Life & Work, Appalachian Journal, Organic Gardening, and other publications. Among her books are More Than Moonshine: Appalachian Recipes and Recollections and Table Talk: Appalachian Meals and Memories.

"Sidney Saylor Farr is one of the godmothers of Appalachian literature, with a unique understanding of the place and its people. She has remarkable stories to tell and I, for one, am anxious to hear them." --Silas House

"A good memoir offers impressive candor and surprises, and Sidney Saylor Farr's book delivers both." --Sandra L. Ballard

"Farr has consistently made important contributions to Appalachian and American literature. Her poems, stories, essays and other writings have revealed her beautiful voice and unique sensibility as a woman, an Appalachian woman, to thousands of readers." --Gurney Norman

"Sidney Saylor Farr's My Appalachia is a memoir whose attractive modesty cannot hide its profound love of place, affection for people, and accuracy of detail. It is as redolent with time and memory as a long-used smokehouse, yet fresh and lucid as a cold spring water ringed with mossy rocks. Anyone who wishes to know mountain life." --Fred Chappell, author of I Am One of You Forever

"The weight of Farr's family burdens is matched by a spirit determined to flourish in this inspiring memoir." --George Ella Lyon, author of With a Hammer for My Heart

"Farr has consistently made important contributions to Appalachian and American literature. Her poems, stories, essays and other writings have revealed her beautiful voice and unique sensibility as a woman, an Appalachian woman, to thousands of readers." --Gurney Norman, author of Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories

"Sidney Saylor Farr's My Appalachia is a moving and inspirational account of her most fascinating life. Though her narrative begins and ends in Appalachia, the path she has traveled is like no other and she seems to have walked it without one hint of the everyday ennui so much a part of modern life. " --Linda DeRosier, author of Creeker: A Woman's Journey

"Without fail I found in Sidney the very embodiment of those essential qualities that humanize scholarship, editing and writing, what Jim Wayne Miller called a 'felt linkage' with the land or her birth, her commitment to excellence, a spirit of cooperation, and an abiding sense of humor. In this book we will see, I am sure, that all of these traits of character were homegrown." --Robert J. Higgs, coeditor of Appalachia Inside Out

"A good memoir offers impressive candor and surprises, and Sidney Saylor Farr's book delivers both." --Sandra L. Ballard, editor of Appalachian Journal and Listen Here: Women Writi

"Sidney Saylor Farr writes of her life in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with deep affection and unflinching candor . . . . My Appalachia is both one person's extraordinary life story and a first-hand look at life in the mountains in a time that is fading from memory." -- Kentucky Monthly

"The gift of this book is that Farr's pride in her roots and her ability to tell a story shine though. It's easy to understand why her work has won her repeatedrecognition for contributions to the body of Appalachian literature." -- Charleston Post and Courier

“Sandra Ballard’s understatement, ‘A good memoir offers impressive candor and surprises, and Sidney Saylor Farr’s book delivers both,” offers a meaningful start to describing a book full of revelations that may leave you gasping.” -- Appalachian Heritage

"Removed from romantic and stereotyped portrayals of southern Appalachia, Farr’s story is recommended for public and academic libraries with a strong interest in the region, as well as for readers who want to learn more about overcoming adversity.” -- Angela Leeper -- MCREVIEW.com

“Illustrative and poignant. . . . Farr describes details of old ways of farming and gathering that will be new to many readers.” -- West Virginia History

Winner of the Appalachian Book of the Year Award.

winner of the Appalachian Book of the Year Award given by the Appalachian Writers Assocation