Steven's Reviews > Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia

Degrees of Elevation by Charles Dodd White
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's review
Sep 28, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: short-stories

Started reading this collection and realized I'd read it before but had never posted a review (sorry Charles!). Some of the writers I was already familiar with: Rusty Barnes, Chris Offutt, Scott McClanahan, Ron Rash, and John McManus, and it was great to see their stories represented here. Others were new to me and that is the great benefit of a collection such as this: to find kindred spirits to writers you already enjoy. So this collection introduced me to: Sheldon Lee Compton, Alex Taylor, Chris Holbrook, Crystal Wilkinson, and Mindy Beth Miller and I've bought books by some of them. The writing in all of these stories is superb, that is almost a given in this kind of collection, so really you cannot go wrong by buying and delving into this one. What interests me is the regional focus. I live on the water on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Appalachia is in some ways as remote as India. So just the focus on a different way of life is exciting to me. Although, funnily enough, not forty miles away, in the foothills of the cascade mountains, we have a town known for its "tar heels." The vegetation is different, but maybe not so much else! And that is one thing this collection reinforces: as different as we are in some of our regional peculiarities, in the big picture, regardless where we live, we all share the same basic human concerns.
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