|About the Book|
When The Kentucky Cycle won the Pulitzer prize for drama, a stunned Gurney Norman, already dismayed by national critics lack of attention to the negative depictions of Appalachian people in the play, launched an attack on the stereotypicalMoreWhen The Kentucky Cycle won the Pulitzer prize for drama, a stunned Gurney Norman, already dismayed by national critics lack of attention to the negative depictions of Appalachian people in the play, launched an attack on the stereotypical representations of mountain people. In time, Bobbie Ann Mason brought these criticisms to national prominence with an essay in the New Yorker.Mountain people remain the one minority group in America that can safely be made the butt of jokes. In Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes they are given the opportunity to talk back to the American mainstream. The contributors include historians, literary scholars, sociologists, creative writers, and activists who confront head-on those who would view their home region two dimensionally.The essays provide a variety of responses from people who live or were born in the region. Some examine the sources of Appalachian mythology in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature. Others reveal personal experiences and examples of grassroots activism that confound and contradict accepted images of hillbillies. The collection ends with a series of critiques aimed directly at The Kentucky Cycle and similar contemporary works that highlight the sociological, political, and cultural assumptions about Appalachia fueling todays false stereotypes.