“This book tells what it means to be a woman when you are poor, when you are proud, and when you are a hillbilly.”
First published in 1973, Skye Moody’s Hillbilly Women shares the stunning and raw oral histories of 19 women in 20th-century Southern Appalachia, from their day-to-day struggles for survival to the personal triumphs of their hardscrabble existence. They are wives, widows, and daughters of coal miners; factory hands, tobacco graders, cotton mill workers, and farmers; and women who value honest labor, self-esteem, and dignity. Shining a much-needed light into a misunderstood culture and identity, the stories within reflect the universally human struggle to live meaningful and dignified lives.
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Skye Moody relays beautifully and authentically the first-person voices in this amazing record of a lost era, when women still churned their own butter, were married off in their teens, and had more children than they could feed. Moody’s women may be broke and illiterate, but they are sharp and tough as nails. These are the stories of children working in the mines and corporations extracting every drop of sweat and blood with impunity. It is to the brave protests of this generation that we owe our equitable legal system, more compassionate government agencies, and more humane regulations. An inspiring collection of interviews from a versatile author of both fiction and nonfiction. Well read too!
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