An Appalachian Childhood (Paperback)
An Appalachian Childhood is a remarkable memoir about growing up on a small, hardscrabble farm in the mountains of Georgia. Deany Brady tells the story of her colorful childhood in the 1930s and 40s with freshness, humor, wit, and intelligence. She is a master storyteller, following in the vigorous oral tradition of her parents and her grandmother, who told vivid family stories all through her childhood. Following the arc of her young life, Brady beautifully captures her own growth from a daydreaming child, creating mansions out of moss and sticks, and gazing at the famous people in the newspapers covering the walls, to a girl in love with language and writing, whose greatest happiness is to read all of Gone with the Wind to her mother by the wash stream one magical summer. Unusual in her Appalachian community, the young Deany yearns not only to complete her high school education but to find a way to better her own life and that of her family’s, by moving to the big city of Atlanta and hoping to gain a college education. Even as Deany’s life grows more intricate and challenging, and even as she makes her own mistakes in her urge to escape the constraints of Appalachia, she holds onto her dream of a life filled with knowledge, happiness and beauty. An Appalachian Childhood is the first half of a two-part memoir. It covers Deany Brady’s first twenty-two years. The second half, Higher than Yonder Mountain, is forthcoming. This second volume follows her grown-up life’s arc from Georgia to Miami Beach, to Park Avenue in New York, and ultimately to her life as a writer in California.
Praise for An Appalachian Childhood…
I love the spirit of this book. Deany Brady's life was very hard, but filled with joy, gratitude and loving relationships. There is plenty of drama and worry, but her family's resourcefulness and Brady's determination are amazing. They installed two doors from a wrecked car in the walls of their two-room home so they could have windows, and rolled them down to open them just as if they were in a car.
An enjoyable and inspiring read.