Appalachian author Amy Greene discusses writing

Amy Greene's portraitPhoto courtesy of www.

By Simon Boes

Amy Greene, author of two recent books Bloodroot and Long Man, visited the Sewanee campus to give a talk and discuss her recent work. Born in a small rural community in Morristown, TN and raised in Whitesburg, TN, Appalachia has shaped her and influenced her writing. Both novels approach many concepts, including the government, family ties, love, and finding your place. Bloodroot, named for a flower that can both heal and poison, deals with the tragic and mysterious legacy of one family from the Great Depression onwards. With such positive reviews, it makes sense that Bloodroot, published in 2010 is a New York Times bestseller. Her more recent novel, Long Man, published in 2014, tells about the trials and tribulations of an Appalachian woman who is so loving and protective of her land that she stays when the Tennessee Valley Authority comes to dam it. During the talk, Greene read a portion of Bloodroot and took questions from the audience. Gailor Auditorium was filled with intent listeners ranging from high schoolers from the surrounding area to professors. When asked what Greene wants to convey in her novels she responded, “To love the land like another person.” When asked what message she would like to tell the inhabitants of the Domain, she said, “Tell your stories.” It is easy to get caught up in our everyday lives and forget to pause and relish our past. Greene goes on to say, “Part of me is in this book,” which explains why her writing is so intriguing and thought provoking. Hopefully Greene will have a chance to return to the mountain after she has finished writing her third book, which she told her audience last week.