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Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley

Novellas and Stories

List Price: $24.00

February 10, 2015 | Hardcover | 6.1 x 9.1, 256 pages | ISBN 9781619024649
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Ann Pancake’s 2007 novel Strange As This Weather Has Been exposed the devastating fallout of mountaintop removal mining on a single West Virginia family. In Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, a follow-up collection of eleven astonishing novellas and short stories, Pancake again features characters who are intensely connected to their land–sometimes through love, sometimes through hate–and who experience brokenness and loss, redemption and revelation, often through their relationships to places under siege. Retired strip miners find themselves victimized by the industry that supported them; a family breaks down along generation lines over a fracking lease; children transcend addict parents and adult suicide; an urban woman must confront her skepticism about worlds behind this one when she finds bones through a mysterious force she can’t name. Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley explores poverty, class, environmental breakdown and social collapse while also affirming the world’s sacredness.

Ann Pancake’s ear for the Appalachian dialect is both pitch-perfect and respectful, that of one who writes from the heart of this world. Her firsthand knowledge of her rural place and her exquisite depictions of the intricacies of families may remind one of Alice Munro.

About Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake is a native of West Virginia. Her first novel was based on interviews with West Virginians living in the shadow of mountaintop removal mining. Strange As this Weather Has Been was on Kirkus's Top Ten Fiction List, won the 2007 Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award. She has also received an NEA grant, the Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Bakeless Award for her first collection of stories, Given Ground.

Praise
"The most compelling aspect of the book is the way a community's collective voice seems to permeate each story....Pancake's stories possess a rough beauty, and also an edge....these stories are worth the wait."--Orion

"Much lauded Seattle-based writer Ann Pancake has a remarkable gift for bringing West Virginia (her childhood home) to life on the page. This new collection of short stories and novellas includes vivid tales of working-class folks living amid the devastation of a type of strip mining known as mountain top removal. She imbues her characters with powerful, poetic voices, and unspools each story--of misfortune, family loyalty, long-held secrets--with a mixture of tension and mystery that unearths many strata of emotion." --Seattle Magazine

"Pancake's bravura tales carry the pulse of a betrayed yet beautiful place of loyalty and resilience." -- Booklist

"Many of these stories by novelist Pancake (Strange as This Weather Has Been, 2007, etc.) are told from the perspectives of children and adolescents, the better to capture the eeriness of the Appalachian landscape and the folkways of the grown-ups who occupy it....her ear for dialect is well-tuned, and the collection has its comic touches....smartly styled..." --Kirkus

"...gritty, stylish assembly...well-crafted collection." --Publishers Weekly

"These are astonishing stories--tender, alive, full of heart and empathy but never sentimental, full of clenched drama and secrets and surprises but always subtle, full of knotty, poetic language, but also remarkably naturalistic. In her unflinching and lovingly accurate attention to the lives of the working poor, people who have fallen entirely beneath the radar of our literary notice, she occasionally calls to mind the haunting photographs of Walker Evans, but I don't think there's anyone else like Ann in American letters. She is a true original, and I urge with all my heart to read these gorgeous stories. Ann Pancake is one of the best we have." --Dan Chaon, author of Stay Awake and Await Your Reply

"These are astonishing stories--tender, alive, full of heart and empathy but never sentimental, full of clenched drama and secrets and surprises but always subtle, full of knotty, poetic language, but also remarkably naturalistic. In her unflinching and lovingly accurate attention to the lives of the working poor, people who have fallen entirely beneath the radar of our literary notice, she occasionally calls to mind the haunting photographs of Walker Evans, but I don't think there's anyone else like Ann in American letters. She is a true original, and I urge with all my heart to read these gorgeous stories. Ann Pancake is one of the best we have." --Dan Chaon, author of Stay Awake and Await Your Reply

"In Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, Ann Pancake writes her way deep into the marrow of one of America's wildest and most brutally wounded landscapes, and into the secret lives of its inhabitants, young and old. Her characters' dreams and misfortunes range from comic misadventure to haunting spiritual quest, and their voices, alive with hope and sorrow, restore lush color and rhythm to our lives. Like a water-dowser in thirsty times, Ann Pancake holds the divining-rod of language in her gifted hands, and reveals a mysterious world we can't afford to lose." --Marjorie Sandor

Praise for Strange As This Weather Has Been

"[P]owerful, sure-footed and haunting..."--The New York Times

"Pancake's novel is shockingly pure, like holding gold in your hands, or wheat--all the chaff winnowed away." -- Orion Magazine

"Lush descriptions of the landscape are matched with a hurtling stream-of-consciousness narration to great effect: one doubts neither the characters' voices nor their places in a very complex poverty." --Publishers Weekly

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