Food for Thought: Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family

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Join the Kentucky Historical Society at July's "Food for Thought" as we welcome Sarah Beth Childers, author of "Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family." Childers grew up listening to stories. She heard them riding to school with her mother, playing Yahtzee in her Granny’s nicotine cloud, walking to the bowling alley with her grandfather and eating casseroles at the family reunions she attended every year. In a thoughtful, humorous voice born of Appalachian storytelling, Childers brings to life in these essays events that affected the entire region: large families that squeezed into tiny apartments during the Great Depression, a girl who stepped into a rowboat from a second-story window during Huntington’s 1937 flood, brothers who were whisked away to World War II and Vietnam, and a young man who returned home from the South Pacific and worked his life away as a railroad engineer. Childers uses her family tales to make sense of her personal journey and find the joy and clarity that often emerge after the earth shakes terribly beneath us.

A native of Huntington, W. Va., today Childers lives in Richmond, Ind., where she is a writer-in-residence at Earlham College.