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How They Shine : Melungeon Characters in the Fiction of Appalachia

By author: Katherine Vande Brake
Product Code: P324
ISBN: 9780865549838
Product Format: Paperback
Print on Demand title
Price: $25.00

In How They Shine: Melungeon Characters in the Fiction of Appalachia, Vande Brake argues that fiction writers choose to create Melungeon characters, incorporate Melungeon lore, and replicate the Melungeon experience because Melungeon is such a powerful metaphor. Their use of Melungeons is not intended as an insult, but instead as a way to say more with less. Melungeon means mystery, unpredicatbility, isolation, prejudice, passion, volatility, superstition, pride. Melungeon means fiery moonshine “likker,” beautiful dark-skinned women, and handsome, reckless men. Melungeon conjures visions of independent life on Appalachian ridges, tongue-speaking preachers handling poisonous snakes, secluded log cabins with arched windows, and family genealogies complete with foreign-sounding names. Melungeon assumes exotic ethnic origins in the days before the English colonized North America. How They Shine is the first book of its kind—a book about books with Melungeon characters. Its clear, readable presentation invites scholarly attention from a variety of disciplines, lay readers, residents of Appalachia, and readers who love good books that ask an interesting question: “Why would someone choose to write about Melungeons?”
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