In 1966 in Rabun County, Georgia, a group of high school English students created theFoxfire magazine, a literary journal that celebrated Appalachian stories, peoples, and culture. The publication was filled with poetry and prose from local students and authors and featured interviews with community members. These oral histories quickly became the focal point of the magazine and, eventually, the material that generated the multivolume Foxfire book series.
Now, pulled from the vast Foxfire archive comes the first volume in the series focused specifically on the lives of Appalachian women. These remarkable narratives illuminate a diverse regional culture held together by the threads that are woven between women and place, and through generations. Told sometimes with humor, sometimes with sadness, but always with a gripping rawness and honesty, the stories recount women's lived experiences from the 1960s to the present. The interviews cover work, family, and community, illuminating Cherokee, Black, and white women's experiences; changes in Appalachian culture; and the importance of relationships in daily life. Reading each interview in this book is almost like joining these women on their porches and in their homes as they take us on a journey through their lives. Taken together, the stories speak against regional stereotypes and offer instead a sampling of the many expressions of these women's strength.