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More than four decades after its founding, the Journal of Modern Literature remains a leading scholarly journal in the field of modern and contemporary literature and is widely recognized as such. It emphasizes scholarly studies of literature in all languages, as well as related arts and cultural artifacts, from 1900 to the present. International in its scope, its contributors include scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceana, and South America.

Monday, June 3, 2024

BOOK NEWS: Study of LGBTQ themes and characters in Appalachian literary works

Doubly Erased: LGBTQ Literature in Appalachia

By Allison E. Carey

SUNY Press, 2024

ISBN: 9781438493565


The first book of its kind, Doubly Erased is a comprehensive study of the rich tradition of LGBTQ themes and characters in Appalachian novels, memoirs, poetry, drama, and film. Appalachia has long been seen as homogenous and tradition-bound. Allison E. Carey helps to remedy this misunderstanding, arguing that it has led to LGBTQ Appalachian authors being doubly erased—routinely overlooked both within United States literature because they are Appalachian and within the Appalachian literary tradition because they are queer. 

BOOK NEWS is an online-only feature announcing new publications in modernist and contemporary literary studies. These announcements do NOT constitute an endorsement by the Journal of Modern Literature.

In exploring motifs of visibility, silence, storytelling, home, food, and more, Carey brings the full significance and range of LGBTQ Appalachian literature into relief. Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home are considered alongside works by Maggie Anderson, doris davenport, Jeff Mann, Lisa Alther, Julia Watts, Fenton Johnson, and Silas House, as well as filmmaker Beth Stephens. While primarily focused on 1976 to 2020, Doubly Erased also looks back to the region's literary "elders," thoughtfully mapping the place of sexuality in the lives and works of George Scarbrough, Byron Herbert Reece, and James Still.

"[Carey] offers a scholarly but accessible analysis of a relatively unexplored subject, and one might very well expect this book to encourage the development of an emergent specialization within literary and queer studies." — CHOICE

"Doubly Erased contributes significantly to Appalachian literary scholarship by providing close, well-framed analyses of LGBTQ authors' works. Carey clearly articulates the complexity of the region and its inhabitants, eschewing essentialization of the people and reductive caricatures. I foresee this book having a profound positive impact not only for the Appalachian LGBTQ community but also for the Appalachian community writ large, however one defines that." — Theresa L. Burriss, coeditor of Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region

Allison E. Carey is professor of English and chair of the English Department at Marshall University.

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