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Conversations with Robert Morgan

Conversations with Robert Morgan

Edited by Randall Wilhelm & Jesse Graves
Series: Literary Conversations Series

Hardcover : 9781496825711, 244 pages, October 2019
Paperback : 9781496825728, 244 pages, October 2019

Collected interviews with the celebrated author of southern and Appalachian literature, who has written more than thirty volumes of poetry, short fiction, history, biography, and novels


Robert Morgan (b. 1944) is one of the most distinguished writers in southern and Appalachian literature, celebrated for his novels, poetry, short fiction, and historical and biographical writing, totaling more than thirty volumes. Morgan’s work gives voice to the traditionally underrepresented people of southern Appalachia, and his appearances in such popular venues as The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and the New York Times Bestseller List have contributed to his wide readership and successful dismantling of Hollywood stereotypes that still dog the region in the nation’s larger consciousness. His writing makes a case for the dignity of work, the beauty and terror of the landscape, and the essential value of creating a community and learning to live in the world.

The interviews in Conversations with Robert Morgan provide readers and scholars the first stand-alone book on Morgan’s long and fascinating career as a master of multiple genres, and make a significant contribution to the understanding of American, southern, and Appalachian literature and culture. Collected here are five decades of interviews that cover such topics as literary influence, the impact of war on family and community, poetic and narrative craft, the role of environmentalism in American literature, and the journey from impoverished North Carolina mountain boy to award-winning Ivy League professor. Morgan is Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1971. Readers will learn about writing across multiple genres, craft that can be learned and practiced by a writer, and studying the past for those present truths that create what Morgan values most in literature, “a community across time. ”