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The Silent Appalachian by Vicki Collins
"Collins' scholarly study focuses like a high beam flashlight on a small subset of characters, but the peripheral glow of that spotlight is unexpectedly far-reaching and illuminating."
—Vicki Lane, The Day of Small Things
"Collins delves into the complex causes of and reasons for, silent characters from an already silenced region. Her insightful analysis unveils important metaphors for power and powerlessness in literature and in Appalachian identity as a whole."
—Amanda Rachelle Warren, Ritual no. 3: For the Exorcism of Ghosts
Appalachian literature is filled with silent or non-discursive characters. The reasons for their wordlessness vary. Some are mute or pretend to be, some choose not to speak or are silenced by grief, trauma, or fear. Others mutter monosyllables, stutter, grunt and point, speak in tongues or idiosyncratic language. They capture the reader's attention by what they don't say.
Vicki Collins teaches English at the University of South Carolina Aiken where she is the director of the Writing Center. She earned her degrees at East Tennessee State University and the College of Mount St. Joseph. Her work has appeared in The Southern Poetry Anthology: North Carolina, Kakalak, MoonShine Review, and several Old Mountain Press anthologies.