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Cat's Cradle Blog

Archive for the ‘American South’ Category

Southern Appalachia: where the laurel grows

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Sky-land: Stories of Picturesque North Carolina, Volume 1, Number 1I invite you to download and view my Appalachia catalog. All titles subject to prior sale. Inquires may be made to info@catscradlebks.net. I accept major credit cards and PayPal.

This new catalog contains materials on southern Appalachia. The Great Smokies, the Blue Ridge, the Black Mountains–they are all part of this ancient mountain range.

Although Appalachia extends northward into Maine, I focus on the region from West Virginia southward. It’s a wild, beautiful, and fascinating place.

Mountain folk, their culture, and their history; terrain, including a collection of technical materials on the geology of the area; and travel are all represented.

If you love the region as much as I do, you’ll find something in this catalog to explore. Enjoy.

Kathy Carter@Cat’s Cradle Books

The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West Virginia

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

McCormick, The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West VirginiaMcCormick, Kyle.   The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West Virginia.  Charleston, West Virginia: Mathews Printing and Lithographing Company, 1959.

176 pp. 9.25″ (21.5 cm) tall. Hardcover. G/ NONE.

Signed by author on title page with additional inscription.

Sound binding and hinges. Pages clean, tanned. Cloth over boards is edge rubbed with heavier wear at spine top/bottom and corner tips, which are bumped. General shelf wear including some scuffing.  Gilt lettering on front and spine is darkened.  Illustrated with black and white plates, maps on endpapers.

Contents: The New-Kanawha River. Early history. The Civil War. River travel. The West Virginia capitol. Railway development. Industrial development of the river.  Legends of New River. Colorful stories of the river. Miscellaneous stories. The Mine War of West Virginia, 1912-1921 (the Cabin Creek strike, the first armed march, murder in Mingo, the second armed march, persons involved in the Mine War).  $125.00.    #3690035

Purchase here.  Major credit cards, PayPal accepted.  Inquiries about the book may be made to info@catscradlebks.net.

Download my Appalachia catalog.  Twenty-nine pages of books, maps, magazines, and ephemera related to the southern Appalachians.

It’s still a sin to kill a mockingbird. Happy birthday, Harper Lee.

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Collector's edition printed from the original first edition plates.

Collector's edition in full leather, 24 karat gilt, printed from the original first edition plates. Click on image to see the Cat's Cradle Books list on Southern Literature.

Today is Southern novelist Harper Lee’s 86th birthday.  Born in Monroeville, Alabama, on April 28, 1926, Miss Lee is a bit of an anomaly.  She published one novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Honor.  It remains arguably one of the most influential works of modern Southern literature.  Published by J. B. Lippincott in 1961, the novel became an immediate sensation and success.  It was followed in 1962 by a film adaptation starring Gregory Peck (Atticus Finch) and introducing Robert Duvall (“Boo” Radley).   Together, the novel and the film remain part of the larger American cultural landscape.

I remember reading Mockingbird at about the age of 10.  Like Scout Finch, the tomboy through whom the story is told, I could not remember learning to read any more than I could remember learning to breathe.  In terms of the words, the book was an easy read for me.   But as a child in Pennsylvania far removed from the time, place, and culture within which the novel was set, I was oblivious to much of its meaning and certainly of its significance.   Like many, I suppose, I returned to Mockingbird many times in my life.  Layers of my own experiences lent new meaning to Miss Lee’s work.  It was truly a new novel each time I picked it up and sank into its pages to join Jem, Scout, and Dill on a journey toward grappling with the harsh realities of racism, injustice, and poverty – a journey toward growing up.

Southern literature has flourished in the half-century (and more) since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  The landscape of Southern writing offers incredibly diverse and interesting work.  Perhaps it comes from a regional fondness for the story told well, with embellishments and exaggerations, at pig pickin’s, at family gatherings, at almost every opportunity.  I don’t know about all that (as Southerners here say when they think this is probably wrong but are a little too polite to say so).

One thing is clear:  Southern literature is a genre worth exploring, and Southern-born authors are often well worth reading.  Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Lee Smith, Kaye Gibbons, Reynolds Price…the names go on and on.

But Harper Lee will always be at the top of my list.

For books and periodicals on Southern literature or by Southern authors, visit our Southern Literature list.

With all good wishes,

Kathy Carter
Cat’s Cradle Books