A Blue Moon in Poorwater

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University of Virginia Press, 1988 - Fiction - 278 pages
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Cathryn Hankla's first novel is an engaging coming-of-age story set in the small Appalachian mining town of Poorwater, Virginia. It is the summer of 1968, and the narrator, inquisitive ten-year-old Dorie Parks, is getting ready to enter fifth grade when her errant older brother Willie returns to town. A religious fanatic and suspected drug user, Willie represents to the residents of Poorwater the hippie counterculture that threatens their conservative town, and his return is the catalyst for a string of strange and sometimes tragic events. Dorie's father, a miner, begins a dangerous labor rights crusade after a mining accident leaves a close friend dead. Dorie struggles to understand the class differences that separate "holler kids" and trailer park children like herself from her wealthy friend Betty. Hankla's graceful writing evokes the wonder and growing sophistication of a young girl on the verge of adolescence and an unknown future. A Blue Moon in Poorwater offers a moving yet unsentimental slice of life in Appalachian, Virginia.

 

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A blue moon in Poorwater

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An inquisitive 10-year-old's coming of age in a small Appalachian coal town is the subject of Hankla's first novel. Through the eyes and voice of this young miner's daughterlong on spunk, but short on ... Read full review

Contents

The Christmas Train 1942
1
The Black Ball
4
Strange Feelings
14
The Homecoming
22
Holy Rollers
34
The Snake
43
Genie in a Bottle
57
Wild Stories
70
Spies
140
Up in the Air
149
Halloween
169
Facing the Shadow
189
The Breaks
194
Doors
202
The Story of the Humpback
206
The Fall of Law and Order 1968
217

On the Banks of the Wye 1955
80
School
84
New Secrets
99
Riddles and Holes
105
The Identity Number
112
Blue Moon at the Edge of Summer 1958
124
Open Simsim
128
The Red Bird
220
The Revelations
225
Question
232
Every Man for Himself
238
The Hook
245
Last Things
263
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Cathryn Hankla is an associate professor of English at Hollins College. Her most recent books are two collections of poetry, Negative History and Afterimages.

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