Robert Gipe lives in Harlan, Kentucky, and grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee. His fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Still, Motif, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.
Listed in: Ohio and Regional · Fiction
Weedeater is a contemporary story of love and loss told by a pair of eastern Kentucky mountaineers. Gene is a lovelorn lawnman who bears witness to the misadventures of a family entangled in drugs, artmaking, and politics, a family beset by environmental and self-destruction. And a young mother, Dawn Jewell, is at the center of the family. She spends the pages of Weedeater searching—for lost family members, lost youth, lost community, and lost heart.
“Robert Gipe is the real deal: a genuine storyteller, a writer of wit and style, wisdom and heart. His characters are as alive as anybody I know, and his sentences jump off the page. I find myself reading them out loud to whoever’s handy and saying, ‘This is how it’s done.’
Jennifer Haigh, author of Heat and Light
Winner of the 2015 Weatherford Award in Fiction
When Dawn Jewell—fifteen, restless, curious, and wry—joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining in spite of herself, she has to decide whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings Trampoline is a powerful portrait of a place.
“A story that left my heart at once warmed and shattered, Trampoline rides the razor’s edge of raw beauty. This is Appalachia shone with a light uniquely its own. I dare say Robert Gipe has invented his own genre.”
David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go