The Hinterlands: A Mountain Tale in Three Parts

The Hinterlands: A Mountain Tale in Three Parts

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by Robert Morgan
     
 

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This is the story of a family who found, marked, and paved their way into America's eastern frontier. Unfolding in the voices of three generations of mountaineer storytellers specializing in keeping listeners on the edges of their seats, this is fiction that plunks us down right into the thick of pioneer life. Using his own family stories as his inspiration, Robert

Overview

This is the story of a family who found, marked, and paved their way into America's eastern frontier. Unfolding in the voices of three generations of mountaineer storytellers specializing in keeping listeners on the edges of their seats, this is fiction that plunks us down right into the thick of pioneer life. Using his own family stories as his inspiration, Robert Morgan has crafted a riveting folk history alive with adventure. Morgan's three gifted storytellers tell it like it was--with a vengeance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Morgan ( Green River ), a gifted poet as well as a fiction writer, aims for the tone of an Appalachian oral history in this ambitious novel whose origins are the stories told, over the years, by members of the writer's family, hailing from North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. The first of his three narrators here is Petal Jarvis, who in 1772 elopes over the ridge from her Carolina settlement with a homesteader. This tale, the strongest part of the book, marshals the keeping-house-against-the-elements charm of many an American backwoods saga. The second story, that of Petal's elderly grandson Solomon Richards narrating events of a day in 1816, unfolds rather more slowly; and the third, set another generation later, is briefer. Morgan achieves a fable-like quality in his imaginings, though readers may find occasional vignettes slow-moving and some of the up-country local color--and down-home dialogue--familiar. But there is comfort and humor in Morgan's evocation of country people trying to survive: ``You know, son, how we all grandify things, imagine that on any given day we will do some little thing that will become history, that we are acting out a grand role even going to the outhouse or draining a puddle.'' (Apr.)
Library Journal
In a lively first-person narrative, Morgan, a poet and the author of two short story collections, tells of four generations of pioneers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1772, Pearl flees west with a young stranger; while her husband is away, she must fend off a hungry panther that tries to climb down the chimney while she is giving birth to her first child. In 1816, grandson Solomon grasps an axe in one hand and a hungry sow's tail in the other and careens off down the mountain, blazing a trail for a tollroad. In 1845, his son David sets off to build a turnpike west, fighting both the elements and his co-workers. David muses, ``A good road is so tender, it seems to hurt.'' The narratives of this first novel are infused with a simple lyricism. By turns hair-raising and hilarious, these tales make for absorbing reading.-- David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
Theresa Ducato
In words plain and deep as the hills, Morgan tells a three-part tale about the Blue Ridge Mountains, covering a period from 1771 to 1845. He binds these tales into a richly textured family saga. An early settler leads his teenage bride into the mountains in search of the new frontier of Kentucky. An aging Petal Richards spins endless yarns to her grandchildren about the explorations of these gritty pioneers. In part two, Solomon, Petal's grandson, builds the first road through the forest. Solomon's son, David, builds the first mountain-to-mountain turnpike in 1845, costing the traveler in a wagon a dollar. David recalls trapping animals in the woods, confronting the Cherokee unarmed, and blasting solid rock with black powder to build roads. Rich in character and detail, this novel forebodes as well the ecological changes that civilization has brought to our wilderness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616202163
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
311,529
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

ROBERT MORGAN is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, most notably his novel Gap Creek and his biography of Daniel Boone, both of which were national bestsellers. A professor at Cornell University since 1971 and visiting writer-in-residence at half a dozen universities, his awards include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Find him online at www.robert-morgan.com.

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The Hinterlands 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert Morgan is a master with his words!