Tales of Chinkapin Creek by Jean Ayer

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A collection of stories about what life was really like growing up on a working farm in rural West Virginia in the early 1900's. For young Nellie Wister, life was rich and meaningful among the people of Chinkapin Creek, a small Appalachian community, stirred by changing times, but held together by a distinct West Virginia spirit that rural Americans will recognize today. Tales of Chinkapin Creek illuminates an aspect of the American character rarely explored: the attitudes and temperament of a state with a burr under its saddle. Broken off from Virginia in the Civil War, West Virginians occupied the neglected counties west of the Shenandoah mountain. Their largely Scots-Irish and German Heritage made them a self-sufficient, often stubborn and unpredictable people. For Nellie, each denizen commands a special place in her open heart. These include the morose Uncle Edward; the seemingly erudite Levi Harman; the turtle-toting Wilse Strickland; the feeble minded Bean Kimball; the sequestered, speech-impaired Millie Flood; Nellie's suitor, the tippling Dr. John Echols; the pushy fertilizer salesman Ben Moomaw, and other intriguing real-life characters.

About Jean Ayer

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Jean Ayer was born and raised in West Virginia. She is a graduate of Barnard College, and Columbia University's Creative writing program. She was a prolific fashion illustrator for Lord and Taylor under her married name Jean Karnoff. Her work appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire and McCalls magazines among many others. She has translated books from many languages, notably "The Besler Floriligium", a 17th century work, and "Patients are People Like Us," by Henri Baruk. Her fiction has been published in Appalachian Heritage, Confrontation, Anthaeus, and other literary magazines.
Published July 28, 2011 by Chinkapin Publishers. 143 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tales of Chinkapin Creek

Kirkus Reviews

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This is a book to be read much as one would listen to a reed organ, hearing beyond its deep tones high piano notes that herald the changing timbre of a new age.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Tales of Chinkapin Creek

Kirkus Reviews

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We meet the perpetually dressed-in-mourning Jane Hamrick, who “had fifteen children by fifteen different men.” We learn that Cousin Jonathan “ain’t worth the powder it would take to blow him up.” Then there’s Cecil McComas, who enjoyed the distinction of having two horses shot from under him duri...

Aug 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Tales of Chinkapin Creek

ForeWord Reviews

Described as historical fiction, but easily mistaken for memoir, the second volume of Jean Ayer’s Tales of Chinkapin Creek is an absolute delight.

Jun 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Tales of Chinkapin Creek

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