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Robert Gipe is next Sunday with Friends speaker

Posted March 7th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Robert Gipe speaks in Abingdon, Virginia, March 10 at 3 p.m., as part of the “Sunday with Friends” literary series sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library. The talk is held at the Washington County Public Library.

Gipe is the author of “Weedeater: An Illustrated Novel,” a sequel to his celebrated first novel, “Trampoline,” which won the Weatherford Prize in 2015 for the best Appalachian novel of the year.  Set in contemporary Kentucky, it returns to the character Dawn Jewell, now the center of her family, who is searching for lost family members, her lost youth, her lost community and her lost heart in the most turbulent and deadly phase of the community’s battle with opioid abuse and the last stages of the coal industry.

Gipe says, “The world of my novel ‘Weedeater’ is as steep as the hillside out the window. I tried to make that world as vivid as the world I live in.  In the place I live, cars get wrecked.  Relationships go sour.  Jobs disappear.  People get grouchy. People keep going.  They shoot off fireworks.  They go to the lake to fish, in boats big and little.  They go to stock car races in motor homes.  They go to church in pickup trucks.  They ride around on four-wheelers to be alone with their beloved or to hunt for ginseng, or just to feel their hair blow in the wind.”

Gipe is a native of Kingsport, Tennessee. He is the director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Kentucky, where he is involved with an oral history-based theater project, “Higher Ground.”

Remaining speakers in the series include Frances Mayes, Hal Crowther, Edison Jennings and other poets, and Elizabeth Catte.

The Friends of the Washington County Public Library sponsor the “Sunday with Friends” literary series. All events are free and open to the public. They include receptions, book sales and signings. Credit cards are accepted. For more information, call 276-676-6298 or visit www.wcpl.net.


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