Creeker: A Woman's Journey

Creeker: A Woman's Journey

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by Linda Scott DeRosier

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Linda Sue Preston was born on a feather bed in the upper room of her Grandma Emmy's log house in the hills of eastern Kentucky. More than fifty years later, Linda Scott DeRosier has come to believe that you can take a woman out of Appalachia but you can't take Appalachia out of the woman. DeRosier's humorous and poignant memoir is the story of an educated and

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Linda Sue Preston was born on a feather bed in the upper room of her Grandma Emmy's log house in the hills of eastern Kentucky. More than fifty years later, Linda Scott DeRosier has come to believe that you can take a woman out of Appalachia but you can't take Appalachia out of the woman. DeRosier's humorous and poignant memoir is the story of an educated and cultured woman who came of age in Appalachia. She remains unabashedly honest about and proud of her mountain heritage. Now a college professor, decades and notions removed from the creeks and hollows, DeRosier knows that her roots run deep in her memory and language and in her approach to the world. DeRosier describes an Appalachia of complexity and beauty rarely seen by outsiders. Hers was a close-knit world; she says she was probably eleven or twelve years old before she ever spoke to a stranger. She lovingly remembers the unscheduled, day-long visits to friends and family, when visitors cheerfully joined in the day's chores of stringing beans or bedding out sweet potatoes. No advance planning was needed for such trips. Residents of Two-Mile Creek were like family, and everyone was "delighted to see each other wherever, whenever, and for however long." Creeker is a story of relationships, the challenges and consequences of choice, and the impact of the past on the present. It also recalls one woman's struggle to make and keep a sense of self while remaining loyal to the people and traditions that sustained her along life's way. Told with wit, candor, and zest, this is Linda Scott DeRosier's answer to the question familiar in Appalachia--"Who are your people?"

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Editorial Reviews

Herald-Leader Staff Lexington
Quite simply, Creeker is one of the finest autobiographies ever written by a Kentuckian.
Kirkus Reviews
A memoir of growing up in, and then living outside of, eastern Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains, by an author proud of her heritage. Linda Sue Preston Scott DeRosier may not be as famous as Loretta Lynn, Appalachia's most beloved daughter, but her journey has been as long as, and perhaps even more unlikely than, that of the "Coal Miner's Daughter." Born at home in 1941, raised in the rural community of Two-Mile Creek, and finding herself still unmarried at 17, she went to college on a scholarship and, among many other experiences (marriage, work, raising a son), discovered that what she truly craved was knowledge. Now a professor of psychology at Rocky Mountain College, she offers this book as her tribute to the family who nurtured her and the community that, though DeRosier lives in Montana, she still calls home. Her hillbilly-influenced syntax (for which a full and entertaining glossary is provided) shines through the palimpsests of higher education and feminism, giving readers a hint of what life as a "creeker" (i.e., one who grew up in the more rural "hollers" of Appalachia) must have sounded like. Though her childhood was in some ways characteristic of those highly intelligent women who grew up stifled by the '50s and discovered themselves in the '60s, there is nothing typical about this memoir, which is full of not only the language but also the values, humor, and perseverance of DeRosier's family. The sheer amount of physical work, as portrayed in her descriptions of the routine of chores and cooking and farming, provide quite a contrast to the Leave It to Beaver image of the typical '50s suburban household. By the time she writes that "there is a comin'-home spirit that is anessential part of growing up in Appalachia," that much, and quite a bit more, is abundantly clear. Rich in both language and history, enjoyable, informative, and "sharper'n ary tack." (32 b&w photos, unseen)

From the Publisher

"Arthur DeRosier has done a wonderful job of recovering and recreating Dunbar's life and times." -- Frank Cogleano, Scottish Historical Review

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Product Details

University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
Women in Southern Culture
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1 MB

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Creeker: A Woman's Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an Appalachian expat, I relished every line of Derosier's book especially at the end when she spoke of 'that comin' home feeling' of people from that part of the country. That book literally took me to a time and a place I hadn't been in years. After reading parts of Creeker, I could close my eyes and be back on my Granny's porch once again. I never met this author yet I felt kinship with her throughout her poetic book and I have thought of her often since I finished it. I am a voracious reader but I don't know when I have been so moved by a book. I can vouch that the early chapters are true and I can feel that the latter ones are. I'm looking for more from this author. Creeker 2, maybe?
billn More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. I highly recommend it. The title is Creeker: A Woman's Journey, but a man could find it entertaining as well. I thouroughly enjoyed it, and I am a man. The first chapter is kind of tough. Ms De Rosier introduces us to her family. It seems that every family member had a unique nickname or even a unique-to-Appalachia given name. It made it kind of tough for thie New Jersey bred reader to wade through. I had to take notes so I would know who was whose uncle, aunt etc... After the first chapter the narative picks up and is quite good. Ms De Rosier takes us through her childhood, education, first marriage, career,and second marriage. All the while she tells the story through the eyes of an Appalachian woman, born to a very conservative Baptist family, who never quite left Appalaachia altogether.College degree ( the first in her family) advanced degree, divorce, remarriage, move to Idaho, move to Montana: it is all told with wit and some humor. Folksy, true, earhty, sad at times and totally entertaining I found myself lauging out loud at times. This book would be of interest to anyome who loves southern literature or southern biography/autobiography. I may never visit Two Mile, KY, nor drop by to sit with the folks there, but I feel I know them well. Ms De Rosier wrote a second book about her mother and father, and thier love for each other. I plan on ordering that this summer and reading that as well. If you purchase this book, by all means enjoy, enjoy enjoy!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is about taking the life you are given and making it the best life you can have. i am giving copies to every woman in my family. thank you, linda, for sharing creeker with us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a finalist for the Appalachian Book of the Year Award. Highly recommend it!