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River Of Earth

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Overview

First published in 1940, James Still's masterful novel has become a classic. It is the story, seen through the eyes of a boy, of three years in the life of his family and their kin. He sees his parents pulled between the meager farm with its sense of independence and the mining camp with its uncertain promise of material prosperity. In his world privation, violence, and death are part of everyday life, accepted and endured. Yet it is a world of dignity, love, and humor, of natural beauty which Still evokes in ...

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River Of Earth

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Overview

First published in 1940, James Still's masterful novel has become a classic. It is the story, seen through the eyes of a boy, of three years in the life of his family and their kin. He sees his parents pulled between the meager farm with its sense of independence and the mining camp with its uncertain promise of material prosperity. In his world privation, violence, and death are part of everyday life, accepted and endured. Yet it is a world of dignity, love, and humor, of natural beauty which Still evokes in sharp, poetic images. No writer has caught more effectively the vividness of mountain speech or shown more honestly the trials and joys of mountain life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A tenderly written and well-sustained story." — New York Times

"His characters are endowed with vigor and stature. Its achievement as an artisic creation of a people and a locale is as sound as its pretensions are modest." — Saturday Review of Books

"Still tells of [his people's] japes and sorrows and near starvation, the rich archaic poetry of their talk and customs in a clear, dry style as unsentimental as his seven-year-old's eyes. He has produced a work of art." — Time Magazine

"As you read you can hear the redbirds in the plum thickets and smell the pawpaws at first frost; you know, too, what it means to scrape the bottom of the meat box with a plow blade, hunting for a rind of pork amid the salt when the mines are closed." — Washington Post

"Mr. Still's local language is true and good." — Lincoln Herald Times

"There is hunger and suffering and death in this child's experience but there is also laughter, riddles and tales told from the past, and the surrounding natural landscape moving from one season to the next. The reappearance of River of Earth is a welcome literary event." — Wilma Dykeman, South Atlantic Bulletin

"Among best novels, we may distinguish between "greats" and smaller masterpieces... Small masterpieces are not so deep nor so grand in scope. Yet their art may be just as exquisite, for these books render a limited human action just right. You finish them thinking you would neither change a word nor omit a scene. Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop is such a book; so is Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Another work of fiction that surely ranks among America's small masterpieces is as Kentuckian as a book can be. This is James Still's River of Earth... From first to last, Still's scenic art is nearabout perfect. It yields a carefully observed canvas of life of a particular place and time. — Advocate-Messenger" — James L. Nicholson, Advocate-Messenger

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813113722
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 12/28/1978
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 427,113
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    +River Of Earth, A good read

    -I think the book was a wonderfull example of family life at the time it was written. It does a good job healping you to see what the young boy in the book sees.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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