Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey was a National Book Critics Circle Notable Book. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven. The recipient of a National Endowment from the Arts Fellowship, McElmurray teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
In essays that take wide-ranging forms—ideal for creative nonfiction classes—established and emerging writers with roots in Appalachia take on the theme of silencing in Appalachian culture. They write about families left behind, hard-earned educations, selves transformed, identities chosen, and risks taken.