Virtual Voices

Review: The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book

Books

The editors (Joyce Green, Casi Best) and the Foxfire students of The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book: Singin', Praisin', Raisin' (Anchor Books, 2011) interviewed hundreds of elders from the Appalachians of Georgia, recording their memories of working hard, going to church, and falling in love in the early 20th century. The book includes biographies, ghost stories, poems, and even step-by-step instructions to build traditional tools and farm equipment. The book is meant for dipping into, not for reading in one sitting.

Along with providing a unique window into the Appalachian culture, Foxfire encourages younger readers to appreciate the contributions of past generations. The first students of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee school worked the fields for two days and attended classes for four to provide a better life for their descendants. The section titled "Echoes" tells the stories of those who delighted crowds with bluegrass music, and passed both-the joy and the music-down to their children. Each story offers wisdom and a valuable picture of a simpler way of life, and makes me want to interview my own grandparents and hear all the hilarious, sad, and adventurous stories from their lives.

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