Creeker: A Woman's Journey

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More About This Textbook


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
"Effectively blends sociology, memoir, autobiography, coming of age and discovering voice, and probably a whole lot of other things. Most of all, however, it's a story that tells a tale of our age, and that is priceless for future generations." — Bowling Green Daily News

"Creeker is must reading if you want to understand Appalachian family values." — Central Record (Garrard Co., KY)

"I was prepared neither for the power of DeRosier's prose nor for the fact that much of her story would have me laughing out loud." — Huntington Herald-Dispatch

"A place this reader delights to be taken, and a person it was a pleasure to meet." — Huntsville Times

"Both a joy to read and a serious exploration of rural Appalachian culture." — Journal of Appalachian Studies

"Does what all good biography and autobiography and memoirs should do — it shows the inner spirit and humanity of an individual, complete with frailties and doubts, rather than trumpeting a list of lifelong accomplishments and good deeds. DeRosier has produced an absolute gem." — Journal of Southern History

"Her narrative is captivating, moving quickly and sensitively, creating a sense of personal connection with the reader." — Kentucky Libraries

"[DeRosier] chronicles her life with honesty, wit, and insight. A tale that begins and ends with family, this is a story not only of accomplishment but of acknowledgement — of self, relationships, the challenges and consequences of choice, and the impact of the past on the present." —

"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

  • ISBN-13: 9780813190242
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 6/21/2002
  • Series: Women in Southern Culture
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,445,604
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    This Kentucky Girl Thanks You

    Thank you for makeing it OK to a Hillbilly from Kentucky. The book brought back some wonderful memories of my visits to my relitives in Pine Hill, KY. Their lives were hard but you would have never known that by the way they loved, lived and worshiped. My life is better because of those visits to rual Kentucky.

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