Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean by Adrian Blevins
Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia

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“The essays of Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean create a cumulative effect of startling honesty. Like any worthwhile act of reckoning, this anthology is not particularly concerned with providing answers to the tough personal or cultural dilemmas posed in the essays. Instead it focuses on the writers’ willingness to engage permanently open questions. In fact, the sheer variety of style and form collected in this book offers its own powerful testament to the evolving legacy of literary Appalachia.” — Chapter16.org/Knoxville Sentinel

In Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray collect essays from today’s finest established and emerging writers with roots in Appalachia. Together, these essays take the theme of silencing in Appalachian culture, whether the details of that theme revolve around faith, class, work, or family legacies.

In essays that take wide-ranging forms—making this an ideal volume for creative nonfiction classes—contributors write about families left behind, hard-earned educations, selves transformed, identities chosen, and risks taken. They consider the courage required for the inheritances they carry.

Toughness and generosity alike characterize works by Dorothy Allison, bell hooks, Silas House, and others. These writers travel far away from the boundaries of a traditional Appalachia, and then circle back—always—to the mountains that made each of them the distinctive thinking and feeling people they ultimately became. The essays in Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean are an individual and collective act of courage.

Dorothy Allison, Rob Amberg, Pinckney Benedict, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Sheldon Lee Compton, Michael Croley, Richard Currey, Joyce Dyer, Sarah Einstein, Connie May Fowler, RJ Gibson, Mary Crockett Hill, bell hooks, Silas House, Jason Howard, David Huddle, Tennessee Jones, Lisa Lewis, Jeff Mann, Chris Offutt, Ann Pancake, Jayne Anne Phillips, Melissa Range, Carter Sickels, Aaron Smith, Jane Springer, Ida Stewart, Jacinda Townsend, Jessie van Eerden, Julia Watts, Charles Dodd White, and Crystal Wilkinson.


About Adrian Blevins

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ADRIAN BLEVINS won the 2004 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha (2003), and is also the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer's Foundation Award, a Bright Hill Press Chapbook Award for The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes (1996), and the Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction. She teaches at Colby College.
Published September 15, 2015 by Ohio University Press. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean

Southern Lit Review

The dogs come out of the shadows – part pit bull, all mange, different color eyes, no collar, no chain.” Later in the essay, she writes about how her marriage had fallen apart and she found herself writing on a scrap of paper, “Walk till the dogs get mean then walk a little further.” Then she say...

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