Though born in Alabama, celebrated author James Still considered Eastern Kentucky his home, and the culture and hills of Appalachia were the backdrop for many of his novels, short stories and poems.
“The Hills Remember” is a recently compiled collection of some of those short stories, 10 of them never before published. In his almost 70-year career, Still was frequently referred to as the “Dean of Appalachian Literature” and his work brought the unique and colorful culture of the region to the nation’s attention.
In his distinctive style – simple, compact and powerful – Still relays the rich textures of the fabric of Appalachian life. “Sweet Asylum,” the first story of the volume, introduces the reader to Caesar Middleton, a cotton farmer whose life has progressed through varying stages of loss. Having emerged from the weight of it, Caesar seems ready to attempt a new chapter in his life. Offered relative prosperity for his political influence, he gathers himself and takes the first steps toward a new journey. With swift and potent ferocity, his future is crushed, and Still, in his meticulous style, shows how fierce the winds of loss can blow.