- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
*Starred Review* Trading on the title of her first novel, the best-selling Kinflicks(1976), Alther presents Kinfolks, her first work of nonfiction, a wise, funny inquiry into the complexities of inheritance. A Tennessean with a New Yorker mother and a Virginian father, Alther grew up feeling like the Civil War incarnate and was mystified by her Cadillac-driving grandmother, who, for all her pride in her blueblood Virginia heritage, refused to contact her back-home relatives. But what induces Alther to turn genealogical sleuth is a cousin's declaration that he is a Melungeon. Melungeons are reputedly multiracial Appalachians sometimes burdened with six-fingered hands and a reputation for the evil eye. Controversial theories suggest African, Portuguese, Turkish, and/or Native American descent. High-spirited Alther's curiosity sends her to dusty courthouse archives, Native American casinos, and locales across Europe and Turkey, and her findings enable her to bring historical Appalachia into focus as a landing place for refugees from all over Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Drolly hilarious and incisive, Alther attempts to decode family secrets, gets to know self-declared Melungeons, and considers her unexpected ties to Pocahontas, ultimately presenting a provocative take on the South's obsession with skin color. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Alther's voice is clear and purposeful...often tinged with an engaging, dry sense of humor... Alther weaves her search in a manner that makes readers wish she had written the history books we all read as children." -- Appalachian Heritage Review
"Alther employs her considerable narrative skills and well-developed knack for humor in...a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile read." -- Journal of Southern History
"Filled with good humor, fine storytelling, and acute observations of small town life...Anyone who enjoys the humor and turn of phrase of Bill Bryson, Garrison Keillor, or Jean Shepherd should enjoy KINFOLKS." -- Lodi News-Sentinel
"A fun read lightened by quirky characters and surprising insights...A unique journey through Appalachia and beyond." -- Mountain Xpress
"Compelling bits of history, raucous wit, genealogical sleuthing, and charming childhood memories...With equal parts humor, wonder, and investigative journalism, Alther takes the reader on a journey from eastern Tennessee through the wilds of genealogy." -- Wellesley Magazine
Wonderful book by fabulous author. A journey of family exploration that recapitulates self exploration. Historical, allegorical, witty, and ultimately existential. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nicholas K.
This book was a "snorer" Didn't find it amusing or very readable. I put it down before finishing it.Published 7 months ago by "Ali"
Interesting book - sometimes there's too much background and not enough Melungeon...Published 11 months ago by Katie Batten
As a Melungeon descendant I really enjoyed this book. The author is awesome and a great person.Published 12 months ago by Michael T. Green
I DIDN'T PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM AMAZON, BUT I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, THIS BOOK. IT WAS A GREAT STORY AND I FELT LIKE IT WAS EYE OPENING TO HOW ONE SHOULD BE OPEN MINDED AND READY TO... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Motherbug
History teachers should make this part of required reading for all 9th and 10th grade student! My curiosity about my ancestors has led me to delve in my Portugese and Spaniard... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Rosemarie M.
I purchased this book for two reasons:
1. The author was local
2. The subject matter was Melungeons
It is an easy read. Read more