Book: James Still «Chinaberry»


Celebrated as the "Dean of Appalachian Literature," James Still has won the appreciation of audiences in Appalachia and beyond for more than seventy years. The author of the classics River of Earth (1940) and The Wolfpen Poems (1986), Still is known for his careful prose construction and for the poetry of his meticulous, rhythmic style. Upon his death, however, one manuscript remained unpublished. Still's friends, family, and fellow writer Silas House will now deliver this story to readers, having assembled and refined the manuscript to prepare it for publication. Chinaberry, named for the ranch that serves as the centerpiece of the story, is Still's last and perhaps greatest contribution to American literature. Chinaberry follows the adventures of a young boy as he travels to Texas from Alabama in search of work on a cotton farm. Upon arriving, he discovers the ranch of Anson and Lurie Winters, a young couple whose lives are defined by hard work, family, and a tragedy that haunts...

Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (2012)

ISBN: 9780813141091

James Still

James Still (July 16, 1906April 28, 2001) was an Appalachian poet, novelist and folklorist who lived most of his life in a log house along the Dead Mare Branch of Little Carr Creek, Knott County, Kentucky. He was best known for the novel "River of Earth," which depicted the struggles of coal mining in eastern Kentucky.


Early life

Still’s mother was sixteen when she moved to Alabama due to a tornado destroying the family home. His father was a horse doctor with no formal training . James Still was born July 16, 1906 near Lafayette, Chambers County, Alabama. Still was considered a quiet child but a hard worker. He along with his nine siblings worked the family farm. They farmed cotton, sugar cane, soybeans and corn. At the age of seven, Still began grade school. He found greater interest not in the school text books but at home where there was an edition of the "Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge". He became enriched with philosophy, physics and the great British poets – Shakespeare and Keats.


After graduating from high school, Still attended Lincoln Memorial University of Harrogate, Tennessee. He worked at the rock quarry in the afternoons and as a library janitor in the evenings. He would often sleep at the library after spending the night reading countless literature. In 1929, he graduated from Lincoln and headed over to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While there, he became involved in a controversial miner strike in Wilder, Tennessee. The miners were starving due to holding the picket line; Still delivered a truckload of food and clothing for the miners. After a year at Vanderbilt, he transferred to the University of Illinois and earned a graduate degree.


Still tried various professions including the Civil Service Corps, Bible salesman and even had a stint picking cotton in Texas. His friend Don West – a poet, civil rights activist, among other things – offered Still a job organizing recreation programs for a Bible school in Knott County, Kentucky. Still accepted the position but soon became a volunteer librarian at the Hindman Settlement School. Knott County, would become Still’s lifelong home.

James Still served as a Sergeant in the US Army in WWII and was stationed in Egypt in 1944.


Still moved into a two-story log house once occupied by a fine crafter of dulcimers, Jethro Amburgey. He would remain here till his death. Here, he began writing his masterpiece, "River of Earth". It was published February 5, 1940. "River of Earth" depicts the struggles of a family trying to survive by either subsisting off the land or entering the coal mines of the Cumberland Plateau in the reaches of eastern Kentucky. Still depicts the Appalachian mining culture with ease. Mines close often and the family is forced to move and find other means to survive. Still received the Southern Author's Award shortly after publication which he shared with Thomas Wolfe for his work "You Can’t Go Home Again". Still went on to publish a few collections of poetry and short stories, a juvenile novel and a compilation of Appalachian local color he collected over the years. The children's book "Jack and the Wonderbeans" was adapted for the stage by the Lexington Children's Theatre in 1992.Still participated in one performance, reading a portion of the book to open the show. He died April 28, 2001 at the age of 94.


* Hounds on the Mountain (1937)
* River of Earth (1940)
* On Troublesome Creek (1941)
* Way Down Yonder on Troublesome Creek: Appalachian Riddles and Rusties (1974)
* The Wolfpen Rusties: Appalachian Riddles and Gee-Haw Whimmy-Diddles (1975)
* Pattern of a Man (1976)
* Jack and the Wonder Bean (1977)
* Sporty Creek: A Novel about an Appalachian Boyhood (1977)
* The Run for the Elbertas (1980)
* The Wolfpen Poems (1986)
* From the Mountain, From the Valley: New and Collected Poems (2001)

External links

* [ James Still Portal]
* [ James Still Fellowship]
*"River of Earth." - Paperback (ISBN 0-8131-1372-5)
*"From the Mountain, From the Valley: New and Collected Poems." - Paperback (ISBN 0-8131-9132-7)
*"River of Words: James Still's Literary Legacy. " by Claude Lafie Crum. [ Wind Publications]
*"James Still: Critical Essays on the Dean of Appalachian Literature," edited by Ted Olson and Kathy H. Olson. Paperback (ISBN 0-7864-3076-1).

Источник: James Still

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • chinaberry — n. 1. an evergreen of tropical America having pulpy fruit containing saponin which was used as soap by native Americans. Syn: China tree, false dogwood, jaboncillo, Sapindus saponaria. [WordNet 1.5] 2. a tree of N India and China having purple… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chinaberry — ☆ chinaberry [chī′nə ber΄ē ] n. pl. chinaberries 1. a tropical Asiatic tree (Melia azederach) of the mahogany family, bearing yellow, beadlike fruit: widely grown as a lawn tree throughout the S U.S. 2. SOAPBERRY (sense 1) 3. the fruit of either… …   English World dictionary

  • chinaberry — Azedarach A*zed a*rach, azederach azederach, n. [F. az[ e]darac, Sp. acederaque, Pers. [=a]z[=a]ddirakht noble tree.] 1. (Bot.) a handsome tree ({Melia azedarach}) of the mahogany family, native to Northern India and China, having long clusters… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chinaberry — /chuy neuh ber ee/, n., pl. chinaberries. a tree, Melia azedarach, of the mahogany family, native to Asia but widely planted elsewhere for its ornamental yellow fruits and long clusters of fragrant purplish flowers. Also called chinaberry tree,… …   Universalium

  • chinaberry — noun (plural chinaberries) 1》 a tall tree bearing fragrant lilac flowers and yellow berries, native to Asia and Australasia. [Melia azedarach.] 2》 the fruit of the chinaberry …   English new terms dictionary

  • chinaberry — kininė melija statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Melijinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medieninis, pluoštinis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Melia azedarach), paplitęs rytų ir pietų Azijoje ir Australijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Melia azedarach angl.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • chinaberry — noun 1. evergreen of tropical America having pulpy fruit containing saponin which was used as soap by Native Americans • Syn: ↑China tree, ↑false dogwood, ↑jaboncillo, ↑Sapindus saponaria • Hypernyms: ↑soapberry, ↑soapberry tree …   Useful english dictionary

  • chinaberry — noun Date: 1890 a small Asian tree (Melia azedarach) of the mahogany family naturalized in the southern United States where it is widely planted for shade or ornament …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • chinaberry — noun a) Melia azedarach, a deciduous tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae, native to India, southern China and Australia. b) The fruit of such a tree. Syn: azedarach, Persian lilac …   Wiktionary

  • chinaberry — chi·na·ber·ry (chiґnə ber″ry) Melia azedarach …   Medical dictionary

  • Chinaberry — Melia (E) …   EthnoBotanical Dictionary

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