By Matthew Neill Null
"Allegheny entrance has few sentimental trappings. . . . Men's stubbornness is a rock face, in those clever and unpretentious tales, their anger a crown hearth, their occasional tenderness a rill. . . . It is still at a distance from judgment, at a eliminate from effortless definitions, unspooling a lucid and infrequently painful background of urge for food, exploitation, and bereavement."-Lydia Millet, from the introduction
"Rich in background, speech, incident, plant life, fauna, vernacular, geology, politics-Matthew Neill Null's paintings is staggering. . . . If whatever ever occurred within the kingdom of West Virginia, Null is familiar with the lengthy and wanting it, and should make its tale sing."-Salvatore Scibona
Set within the author's native land of West Virginia, this panoramic number of tales strains the folks and animals who stay in precarious stability within the mountains of Appalachia over a span of 2 hundred years, in a disappearing rural global. With omniscient narration, wealthy element, and lyrical prose, Matthew Neill Null brings his panorama and characters vividly to life.
Matthew Neill Null is the writer of the unconventional Honey from the Lion (Lookout Books). A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a winner of the PEN/O. Henry Award, his brief fiction has seemed within the Oxford American, Ploughshares, the Mississippi Review, American brief Fiction, Ecotone, and in other places. He divides his time among West Virginia and Provincetown, Massachusetts, the place he coordinates the writing fellowship on the tremendous Arts paintings Center.
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Indeed I’ve a certain dislike to either, they seem to have so little to do with our love & our union. They are things what every common sweethearts use whether they love really or not. 54 Nor was romantic gift exchange something conﬁned to twentiethcentury people living in an age of mass consumption. Love tokens such as engraved coins, gloves, love spoons, and true-love hearts have long been exchanged by ordinary people. Indeed Bamford described receiving an early nineteenth-century Valentine that would put twenty-ﬁrst century versions to shame.
38 This book therefore tells its story not through the cultural interventions of philosophers and artists but through a series of intimate stories located within everyday life. As we will see, ordinary people were surprisingly forthcoming on the subject of their intimate lives when asked directly about them. Their stories draw attention to the ways in which historical moment, gender, status, material circumstance, and generation shaped understandings of love. They also help us dissect the relationship between experience, subjectivity, and cultural representation in a rapidly changing world.
I grew up in an age and in an extended family where a marriage really was for life,’ conﬁded a Mass-Observer born in 1930. ‘To me that meant being very careful not to have to end up having to marry the wrong girl. ’4 The authentication of love demanded consideration of its relationship to both passion and pragmatism.