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Book details
  • SubGenre:Cultural Heritage
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • eBook ISBN:9781905605385

The Road to Harmony

An Appalachian Childhood

by J D Ballam

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J D Ballam's memoir of a childhood spent in Appalachia's Blue Ridge Mountains is a celebration of a rural landscape and a way of life that had changed little for generations, as well as a lament for that life's rapid passing.
From the broken mountain, with its green rocks and running springs, to Hawbottom, with Catoctin on the right and South Mountain across the valley to the left, the Hollow Road turns past the silent stones of the old distillery, dropping away to the stream and past Mosker’s farm to The Corner, then up the little hill between the houses, around Orpha’s barn, to the first farm on the right. This is the road home – the road to Harmony – where a hog can root the mortgage off a farm faster than Hell can send a feather and four saddlebags of gold lie buried at Bootjack Spring ... Somewhere in these things there is the history of a people – small and poor, democratic and proud. It is a history that is part fiction, and part the determination of a community to believe in itself. It is the story of this community, in a recollection larger than my own, that this book seeks to tell.
About the author
After leaving the Appalachian Mountaions, JD Ballam studied English Literature in England for six years, gaining a doctorate for a dissertation about two other ex-pat Americans, Ezra Pound and TS Eliot. He worked in a variety of jobs - mopping hospital floors, washing dishes, selling toys, collecting taxes, teaching grammar - before eventually teaching in a university. He is now Director of the Diploma in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. His writing started to appear in print when he was still a teenager, and his published work now includes poetry, articles, chapters, reviews, scripts and fiction.
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