A stark and affectionate look at a coal mining community in Pennsylvania, these stories, set in the Allegheny Mountains, portray the hard reality of lives that rely on the mine and those who wish to escape it. Though anger, loneliness, and lust marginalize and cause pain, social and religious traditions anchor these characters within place and time. A sense of the wild hovers, as each story works around to a revelation of intimate secrets: homosexuality, prejudice, grief, and betrayal. Some of these characters triumph in small ways. Scarred land, scarred people, scarred, narrow attitudes mixed with generosity and goodness and kindness; good and evil, spiritual and temporal, greed and gratitude, life and death, all wrapped up in a black mineral that can't be escaped or denied as a part of the humanity that works around it and, for many, quite literally within it—working in a seam of coal, deep under the ground, in the darkness. Where is light for people who work in the dark? Or can they ever escape the darkness?
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.62(d)|
About the Author
Gerry Stanek grew up in the coal fields of Western Pennsylvania, the son and grandson of coal miners. He lives and writes in Greensboro, North Carolina and teaches at North Carolina A&T State University. He has worked as a truck driver, a roofer, a radio disc jockey, and as a touring musician.