“Reception geographies” methodologies might be considered analyses of what Raymond Williams called “writing in society,” an apt label for a study that goes beyond examining the role of hypothetical or implied readers to study the interpretive tactics of actual readers.1 Earlier reader-response theory included discussions of “postulated” or “ideal” readers of a text, a method that approaches formalist interpretation because it suggests that meaning is determined by the text and best interpreted by trained readers.2 Reception geographies, on the other hand, recognize that texts mean different things for readers in different times and different social and geographic positions.
Reception geographies also part ways with reception theory, a body of scholarship spearheaded by Wolfgang Iser and Hans Robert Jauss in the late 1960s and 1970s. Jauss and Iser's distinctions between fiction that meets readers' expectations and fiction that forces readers' reevaluation of the world can too conveniently divide texts into those worthy or unworthy of scholarly consideration.3 Dear Appalachia takes as its focus the relationship between each individual reader and each individual text, the consequences of that relationship for each reader, and the potential consequences of that relationship for regional residents and the politics of culture—regardless of the text's ability to challenge readerly expectations.
Though my approach adds a geographical lens, it most closely resembles that of new reception study scholars, particularly literary scholars interested in historical consequences. Barbara Ryan, Amy Blair, Paul Gutjahr, and Timothy Aubry employ qualitative analysis of fan mail (Ryan, Blair) or customer reviews (Gutjahr, Aubry) in order to examine the cultural work performed by particular fictional works for popular audiences.4
Below, I first explain the rationale for my selection of each work of fiction and the criteria I employed for assessing its popularity. In the second section, I describe the primary resources upon which I drew for my analysis of the reception of each popular Appalachian-set work. For additional (p.230) discussion of my methodological choices, please see “On Methodologies and Anachronisms” in the introduction.
Evaluating Popularity and Selecting Texts
Chapter 1: 1878–1900
I begin my study during this most significant historical period, arguably, for the construction of the imagined geography of Appalachia, yet neither best-seller lists nor the concept “best seller” existed during the local-color literary movement. Mary Noailles Murfree was one of many popular authors of mountain fiction during this period. That In the Tennessee Mountains sold nine thousand copies in the first year alone was remarkable given editors' hesitance to publish story collections because of the low profits generally involved. By way of comparison, Sarah Orne Jewett's renowned Deephaven (1877) took nineteen years to go through twenty-three editions, while in just eight years In the Tennessee Mountains went through twenty-two (seventeen printed within the first two years).5 Murfree is an especially helpful case study because of the volume of contemporary commentary regarding her identity due to her “revelation” that she was a woman after gaining celebrity under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock.
Chapter 2: 1900–1919
The turn of the twentieth century witnessed the beginning of what Henry Holt referred to as “the mad quest of the golden seller.”6 The Bookman, founded in 1895, was the first periodical to regularly print monthly lists of the six best-selling books in sixteen to thirty metropolitan cities. Beginning in 1897, the Bookman compiled the city reports into one national list, “Best Selling Books.” By 1902 the term best seller had gained widespread currency in the United States.7 It is because John Fox Jr. published two best sellers within this first decade of “the mad quest” that, according to Alice Payne Hackett, his novels became “synonymous” with the newly coined phrase “best seller.” Thanks largely to the popularity of Fox's 1903 The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, his 1908 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine garnered over sixty thousand advance orders and sold out its first edition in just a few months. Lonesome Pine was the third-best seller in 1908 and fifth-best seller in 1909. By 1967, it had sold over a million hardbound copies, making it the eleventh-best seller of all fictional books (p.231) initially published between 1900 and 1909.8 Not until the publication of Christy (1967) and Deliverance (1970) would the popularity and influence of Lonesome Pine be approached in Appalachian-set fiction.
Chapters 3 and 4: 1919–1990
Publishers Weekly and the New York Times publish “two of the most popular, widely disseminated, readily available and authoritative lists” of the twentieth century.9 Keith Justice, author of Best-seller Index: All Books, Publishers Weekly and the New York Times through 1990 (1998), dates the advent of modern-day best-seller lists to 1919, when Publishers Weekly introduced its monthly effort to tally national sales. The first Publishers Weekly list of ten “Best Selling Fiction” titles was based on sales reports from sixty-two booksellers (about one-third of which were from “the Eastern states” and about one-fifth from “the Southern states”). The precise number of booksellers and cities represented differed from month to month.10 Justice's Best-seller Index covers the New York Times Book Review's best-seller list from 1935, when it was first published as a monthly feature based upon sales figures from the distributor Baker & Taylor, to 1990. (Laura J. Miller, on the other hand, dates the Times' national list [versus individual city lists] to August 1942. The Times dropped its lists for most of 1940–1942; the revived list included reports from fourteen cities during the 1940s.)11 Differences between the New York Times and Publishers Weekly lists are common, in part due to the fact that the former provides respondents a preconstructed list of titles while the latter does not. Furthermore, trade paperbacks may have trouble competing with mass-market paperbacks for placement on the Times list, which does not separate the two as does Publishers Weekly.12
The best-seller lists are the most useful documentation I have found for determining which books were popular with readers at the time of their release, although the vagaries of the lists are well known. Best-seller lists gauge which books sell relatively large numbers of copies through particular outlets over relatively short periods of time. They attempt to measure “fast sellers” in a given week or month, versus “steady sellers” over time. The number of copies a given title sold would give a better indication of longer-lasting popularity. (For example, Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies or James Still's River of Earth, neither of which appeared on a best-seller list, may have sold more copies over time than Harriette Arnow's Hunter's Horn, which appeared on the New York Times best-seller (p.232) list for five weeks.) But it is notoriously difficult to ascertain sales numbers. Although publishers track their own publications' sales figures, no accessible public record for copies printed or total copies sold existed until Nielsen Bookscan, available by monthly subscription, began its attempt to track point-of-sale statistics in January 2001.13 An advantage of best-seller lists is that they indicate a given title's popularity relative to others published in the same year; the number of copies sold of a book in 1909 might mean something very different from the number of copies sold of a book released in 1999.
As sociologist Laura Miller notes, “The New York Times best-seller list is widely considered to be the preeminent gauge of what Americans are reading. Yet its methodology is highly problematic, and many people in the book industry assume that there are irregularities on the part of sources who report to the Times.”14 Furthermore, the number of books appearing on the lists varied, meaning that a book whose sales qualified it for the list in a given month in one year might not have made it to the list in a different month or year. Publishers Weekly included ten books when it published a monthly list, but once weekly lists began in 1942 anywhere from five to nine fiction best sellers appeared. The New York Times varied between listing ten and twenty-seven fiction best sellers.15 According to the Best-seller Index, the New York Times added a paperback list in 1965, while the Publishers Weekly's paperback list did not begin until 1976.16 From 1967 to 1974, the New York Times only published the top five paperback titles, perhaps leading to an undercounting of the popularity of Deliverance and especially Christy, both released in mass-market paperbacks, compared to paperbacks released just a few years later, which may have appeared on the lists for many more months.17 The Times altered its method of data collection in 1977 from phone calls to 250 stores to computerized tallying of questionnaires sent to 675 representatives of 1,400 stores, and by the 1990s the newspaper claimed to poll a mix of 4,000 chain and independent stores plus wholesalers—the inclusion of the latter creating potential issues such as double counting.18 For fuller accounts of methodologies, idiosyncrasies, and manipulations of the lists, see overviews by Keith Justice and especially Laura Miller.19
In order to compile a list of potential Appalachian-set best sellers, I consulted scholarship about Appalachian literature as well as individual Appalachian literary scholars and booksellers. I consulted Cratis Williams's famous work, “The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction,” (p.233) Lorise Boger's bibliography The Southern Mountaineer in Literature, and the Berea College library's index “Mountain Fiction from Abernethy to Zugsmith.”20 I then tested my list of likely best sellers against Keith Justice's index as well as against 80 Years of Best-sellers: 1895–1975, compiled by Publishers Weekly staffer Alice Payne Hackett and James Henry Burke.
The authors whose fan mail I chose to examine in chapters 3 and 4 published Appalachian-set novels that remained on the best-seller lists for months at a time. Harriette Arnow's Hunter's Horn made the New York Times best-seller list for 5 weeks, peaking at thirteenth. Her second novel, The Dollmaker, appeared for a total of 49 weeks on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists, reaching its zenith at number four on 27 June 1954.21 James Dickey's Deliverance spent 70 weeks and Catherine Marshall's Christy spent 118 weeks on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists combined.22
Among those I was surprised not to find in Justice's index were Charles Neville Buck, author of Call of the Cumberlands (1913); Fielding Burke (pen name of Olive Tilford Dargan, author of proletarian fiction in the 1930s); Maristan Chapman; Billy Clark; Grace MacGowan Cooke; Albert Benjamin Cunningham, author of twenty-one novels and mysteries from 1918 to 1951; John Ehle; Lucy Furman; Janice Holt Giles; Alberta Pierson Hannum, author of Roseanna McCoy (1945); Harry Harrison Kroll; Alice MacGowan; Cormac McCarthy; Eliza C. Obenchain, author of Aunt Jane of Kentucky (1907); Elizabeth Madox Roberts; and Robert Weverka, author of The Waltons (1974).
A number of best-selling authors wrote mountain-themed novels that did not themselves make the best-seller lists, including Ben Lucien Burman; Besty Byars, author of Summer of the Swans (1970); Christine Noble Govan; Joseph Hergesheimer, whose short story “Tol'able David” was made into a 1921 silent film infamous in Appalachian studies; Helen Topping Miller; Elizabeth Seifert, author of Hillbilly Doctor (1973); Thomas Stribling; and Robert Penn Warren. Thomas Wolfe had four best sellers, though his landmark Look Homeward, Angel (1929) was not among them.23 Elizabeth Madox Roberts's historical novel The Great Meadow (1930), set in frontier Kentucky prior to the Revolutionary War, was on the Publishers Weekly list for eight weeks; The Time of Man (1926), set on a farm in central Kentucky, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection but not a best seller.
Three authors who appear in Justice's index for the years 1919–1990 (p.234) might have appeared in this book but do not. Davis Grubb's A Dream of Kings (1955), a Civil War love story set in what would become West Virginia, made the New York Times list for just one week. Jesse Stuart's Taps for Private Tussie (1943), a comedic interpretation of hardscrabble poverty set in Kentucky, was on the New York Times best-seller list for three weeks.24 Gail Godwin's A Mother and Two Daughters (1982) and A Southern Family (1987), both set in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, were best sellers for fifty-two weeks and thirty-one weeks, respectively. Godwin is rarely considered an Appalachian author, yet her many popular books set in the region likely influenced the national geographic imagination.25 Furthermore, future study of her fan mail may show that understanding Godwin's success is central to understanding a shift in this period from mass-market audiences to trade paperback and book club audiences for Appalachian characters and settings. Godwin herself benefited from this shift in the 1990s, when her Smoky Mountains-set novel Evensong (a sequel to Father's Melancholy Daughter , set near Charlottesville, Virginia) was released as a Ballantine Reader's Circle edition.
Chapter 5: 1990–2003
No best-seller index comparable to Keith Justice's compilation for the years 1919–1990 yet exists for the post-1990 period, so in order to determine best-seller status for this period I consulted lists by Publishers Weekly and the New York Times via the Lexis Nexis Academic database. (See chapters 3 and 4, above, for discussion of the complexities of these two lists.) Additionally, I consulted USA Today, which began its list (believed to be heavily skewed toward chain bookstores) in 1993.26
For the period after 1990, I was particularly interested in novels written by little-known debut authors that nonetheless reached best-seller lists.27 Nonetheless, space and time permitting, I might have included a number of additional best sellers for this period. Veterans of the best-seller lists include Barbara Kingsolver, whose Prodigal Summer (2000) spent forty-three weeks on the USA Today “Top 150 Best-Selling Books” list, with a peak position of nine, and David Baldacci, whose Wish You Well (2000) spent twenty-three weeks on the USA Today list, with a peak position of eleven. Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys (1998), later titled October Sky after its movie adaptation, spent twelve weeks on the USA Today list, with a zenith of thirty-seven. Four of Sharyn McCrumb's seven ballad novels (1990–2003) spent four to nine weeks on the USA Today list, with (p.235) The Rosewood Casket (1996) reaching the highest position (thirty-third) of the seven. Gap Greek (1999) by Robert Morgan and Icy Sparks (1998) by Gwyn Flyman Rubio were both Oprah Book Club selections; Morgan's novel spent thirty-one weeks on the USA Today list with a peak position of eight, while Rubio's spent twenty weeks with a height of four. Selection by Oprah's Book Club guaranteed these books best-seller status regardless of setting or appeal. (Every one of the forty-five books for adults selected by Winfrey during the years of her book club in its initial incarnation from September 1996 to April 2002 became a USA Today best-seller for at least eight months.)28 Rubio fit the profile of a debut novelist who made the best-seller lists, but I was interested in constructions of Appalachia that were widely embraced by readers. As a high proportion of negative online customer reviews of Morgan's and Rubio's works demonstrates, best-seller status did not necessarily translate into favorable popular opinion.
Although it was not a criterion for their inclusion, all the texts examined in Dear Appalachia were in print in 2010, attesting to their continued circulation and lasting influence.
Evidence of Reception
Modern use of the term fan dates to the late 1800s, when journalists used it to refer to baseball enthusiasts, and became widespread in the United States by the 1930s. It may derive from the term the fancy, used in the 1800s to describe a group of people who were “fanciers” of a given hobby. The term fan mail was first used in a 1924 Motion Picture magazine article, “The Business of Fan Mail.”29 Despite the fact that neither label, “fan” or “fan mail,” was common until the 1930s, I use both terms throughout the book for ease of distinguishing between correspondents who wrote in response to a given text and those who had other reasons to write. When a citation designates a correspondent as a “fan,” it indicates that the reader was a perfect stranger to the author prior to writing. (In the rare cases when correspondents questioned or criticized the author, I nonetheless label them “fans” to signal that they were strangers writing in response to a given text.) When letter writers had some prior connection to the author, I designate them as “fan-acquaintances” to indicate that they had met previously or had a professional relationship with the author (as reviewers, event organizers, and so on). In a few instances, I quote (p.236) from admiring letters that I would not consider fan mail because the correspondent was well known to the author or had regular business dealings with him or her. I label such correspondents as “friend” or “colleague.”
For the books examined in chapters 1 through 4, the authors' correspondence has been preserved in public archives. Fan mail provides rich evidence regarding contemporary assumptions about the nature of Appalachia, readers' investments in the authenticity of the author, and the readerly needs provoked and met by the literary marketplace. Especially when contrasted with professional print reviews, fan mail illuminates the ways in which readers' geographical histories and class affiliations shaped their readerly desires and literary interpretations. Of course, fan mail does not provide transparent evidence of the novel's appeal. As Amy Blair notes, because readers were often “conscious of the genre of fan mail,” and their “letters are careful to situate themselves as somehow different from a perceived typical fan letter,” we must acknowledge that “even the most self-revelatory fan letter was, at least partially, a performance of reader reception.”30
In quoting fan mail sent to best-selling authors, I chose not to use pseudonyms for two reasons. First, the names and locations of the letter writers are often evocative of who they were and the contexts out of which they wrote. For example, knowing that a letter was written by Mrs. Hans Zinsser of New York—not Mrs. Delbert Moore, an out-migrant from rural Kentucky or Mrs. Johnnie Sue True from Texas —shapes the way I read the letter. I could resort to colorful naming practices and invent traditional surnames as replacements for Mrs. Hattie Abner and Ozro F. Grant, but my own inventions would pale by comparison.
Second, my investigation of these readers as historical figures is incomplete. Readers and audiences of my work to date have sometimes recognized fans' names and taught me more about Ellen Lane of South Carolina or other correspondents, information that gave insight into the reasons that that person might have found the best-selling novel appealing. If I had replaced real names with pseudonyms, I would not have discovered important details about readers' lives. For example, I did not recognize that fans John Wilson Townsend, William E. Connelley, Everett Webber, and Janisse (née Janeice) Ray were themselves published authors until late in the revision process, yet discovering who they were and what they published provided additional means to interpret their reactions. It matters that Arnow fan Gertrude Snodgrass may have been (p.237) one of the cofounders of the Greater Chicago Food Depository in 1978, and that another Arnow fan, Irving Weissman, was a construction worker and former Communist. I anticipate learning even more as my suppositions reach, and are tested by, a larger audience. Indeed, I expect I may even hear from a few folks unhappy with me for sharing their youthful enthusiasms of forty or more years ago. I hope that the payoff will be worth it in the consequently clearer ideas about who was reading these novels, and why.
Perhaps the most unorthodox evidentiary sources I employ, customer reviews posted to the Internet, are also in some ways the most useful for reception geographies. Fan letters often provide long, detailed, rich accounts of readers' relationship to the texts from enthusiastic admirers moved so deeply and positively that they felt compelled to take the time to write and mail a letter. But thanks to reviews posted to booksellers' Web sites, for recent best sellers I can access far greater numbers of reader reactions that detail a broader range of enthusiasm and disappointment.
Customer reviews are different from fan mail in other respects as well. The stakes involved in the very public nature of publishing an online review, while not necessarily higher than those involved in writing to an admired literary figure, are nonetheless different. As opposed to more intimate epistles meant for an author's eyes only, Internet testimonials more often utilize a professional tone that mimics professional reviewers. Their publication implies different purposes than those motivating private letters, including at times a desire to establish a public reputation for oneself as a knowledgeable reader, or a desire to affect the purchases, reading selections, and opinions of other readers. Finally, compared to letters (or to recent case studies of reading groups based in one city or county, for that matter), Internet customer reviews provide information about geographic differentiation in the reception of novels—not only in reviewers' frequent references to the city and state from which they are writing (common on Amazon.com) but also in the conventionalized testimonies that they offer about the role of the novel in the trajectory of their own lives.
The legitimacy of customer reviews came under scrutiny after revelations that authors and their allies frequently post glowing reviews of their books—or blistering reviews of competitors' books—without revealing their identities.31 In response, Amazon instituted a “Real NameTM” (p.238) option for users that allows reviewers to claim credibility by backing their online name with a credit card or other identifying documentation. As fascinating as the review wars are, however, they have little bearing upon the validity of my research. Even bald-faced and “planted” promotions can be usefully studied for the rhetoric with which they praise a novel and describe its appeal. In other words, if authors commend their own work or a friend's on the grounds that the work allows them to vicariously experience the neighborliness of an Appalachian town, then their sense that this is what other readers desire is itself significant. Nonetheless, when possible I have attempted to identify published authors and note them as such, and have preferred to highlight examples from nonpublished authors. I have also noted in my citations when reviews were accompanied by the “Real Name” label. Yet in deference to legal concerns resulting from Amazon's aggressive claim to be copyright holder for reviews, I identify reviewers by first name and last initial only and/or, when available, by their screen name.
To all appearances, customer reviews provide a fairly representative sample of readers of Appalachian-set fiction, who, like all American fiction readers, tend to be female and upper middle class. The demographic of Internet users roughly parallels the demographic of middle-class and upper-middle-class readers at whom recent trade best sellers are aimed, so Web-based customer reviewers should be fairly representative of the novels' national audience in terms of class. On the other hand, white readers appear to comprise a higher proportion of online Appalachian fiction fans than of Internet users overall. In 2003, 65 percent of white Americans, 56 percent of black Americans, and 53 percent of Hispanic Americans were Internet users.32 As far as I am able to determine from readers' own testimonies, which frequently incorporate discussion of identity politics, Appalachian fiction fans likely are more than 90 percent white.
Chapter 1: In the Tennessee Mountains
Mary Noailles Murfree, with the help of her sister Fanny, preserved a large body of correspondence from editors and fans. The collection is archived at the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. According to the finding aid, the collection includes 269 letters, most of which represent correspondence between Murfree and her publishers between 1877 and 1928. I read or skimmed all of the letters (folders 3–15) in order to identify twenty-one pieces of mail written by (p.239) admirers who had no prior connection to Murfree. That these extant letters do not represent all the mail Murfree received is suggested by a fan's comment in 1922 that he first wrote Murfree in 1885; there is no record of the earlier letter.33 I also examined correspondence between Theodore Roosevelt and Murfree housed at the Library of Congress.
I contrasted the image of Craddock/Murfree from the fan mail with print copy regarding the author, beginning with the Boston Herald's account of her appearance in Boston. Reese M. Carleton's annotated bibliography provided an astonishingly detailed and thorough source that includes citations for collections of additional letters (largely from rather than to Murfree) and hundreds of reviews. I located additional reviews thanks to master's theses by Eva Malone Byrd and Eleanor B. Spence.34 In total, I tracked down fifty reviews about In the Tennessee Mountains and Craddock's other mountain-set fiction, including The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Chapter 2: The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
The largest collection of archival materials regarding John Fox Jr. is housed at the University of Kentucky 's Special Collections and Digital Programs in Lexington. The Fox Family Papers include, among many other items, three boxes of correspondence. Eight scrapbooks, including one each devoted to Fox's best sellers The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1903) and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), contain promotional materials, reviews, and letters. My analysis of Fox's attitudes about the southern mountains was partly informed by correspondence between Fox and famous politicians, authors, and artists. These included letters from Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt regarding Lonesome Pine and letters regarding Little Shepherd and other works from Charles Scribner, Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry Watterson, Richard Harding Davis, Francis Hopkinson Smith, Robert Burns Wilson, the Roosevelt family, Owen Wister, Thomas Dixon, and James Lane Allen, among others.
My primary arguments center upon eleven fan letters from readers of Little Shepherd, fifteen from readers of Lonesome Pine (1908), and two regarding Fox's essay “On Horseback to Kingdom Come” (1910), which returns to the eastern Kentucky setting of Little Shepherd. These are archived in the scrapbooks and in box 3, Letters, 1899–1903; and box 4, Letters, 1904–1910, and Letters, 1911–1920. An earlier letter from J. F. (p.240) Bullitt in 1901 seems to have provided Fox material for Lonesome Pine. If Fox received multiple letters from the same fan or if a fan mentioned multiple books in one letter, I did not double count. The themes that emerged from these letters (migration, attachments to Kentucky or the region, the romantic imagination of unseen mountain places, and fans' requests for help with writing or publishing their own stories) enabled me to identify groups of readers.
The letters turned up no locally identified readers, whose presence I deduced from published anecdotes and from one scholarly article about locals' rebuttal to a Fox-influenced sociologist via their local newspaper.35 Though some letter writers expressed nationally oriented sentiments, I primarily identified nationally oriented readers via seventy-eight reviews and fourteen articles published in 1908. I found the majority of these publications through archival research in the Fox Family Papers, particularly the scrapbooks. (These clippings sometimes omit the date or the name of the periodical and generally omit page numbers.) I located additional reviews and articles through secondary research thanks to Book Review Digest, the bibliography in Bill York's biography of Fox, and database searches of electronically available periodicals. I also found articles and booklets illustrative of Fox's enduring legacy in Kentucky at the John Fox Jr. Memorial Library, housed in Duncan's Tavern in Paris, Kentucky, and thanks to the gracious generosity of Fox's distant cousin Bettie J. Tuttle.
Chapter 3: Hunter's Horn Andthe Dollmaker
The Harriette Simpson Arnow Papers are housed with Special Collections and Digital Programs at the University of Kentucky Libraries in Lexington. In addition to correspondence between Arnow and her editors, the Correspondence Series includes thirty-eight fan letters written in response to Hunter's Horn and ninety letters that arrived after the release of The Dollmaker. In the Hunter's Horn number I include ten fan-acquaintances, whom I defined as readers with a business or personal connection to Arnow prior to writing (for example, reviewers; former teachers and professors; and friends of her sister Elizabeth, including one whose admiring letter was addressed to Elizabeth). Of the letters dated 1954 and after, thirty mention both The Dollmaker and Hunter's Horn (including one correspondent responding in 1954 to The Dollmaker and “all” of Arnow's books and one responding to her best sellers plus Seedtime on the Cumberland and Flowering of the Cumberland). Of the second set (p.241) of letters, six were from fan-acquaintances. When fans wrote more than once I did not double count them.
It is unclear what percentage of Arnow's total fan mail these 128 extant letters represent. In a letter that Arnow wrote to her sister she suggests that an avalanche of mail began to arrive in the fall of 1954: “I am still answering letters. They will I suppose slack off one of these days, for Gertie [The Dollmaker] is slacking off the lists. Something happened back in October or September and everyone started to write.”36 Another possible indication that Arnow received more letters than she kept is that she once claimed that she received fewer fan letters from Kentucky than any other state.37 She either misrepresented/misremembered reality or retained a wildly unrepresentative sample for her personal archive, since, as I note in chapter 3, one out of five of Arnow's fans had ties to Kentucky.
In addition to the fans with ties to Kentucky, another twelve letters mentioned current or past residence in Michigan. Only Fox had a higher percentage of fans with ties to his settings, 62.5 percent, with ten of sixteen authors of fan mail about The Trail of the Lonesome Pine having ties to Kentucky or mountainous portions of North Carolina, Virginia, or West Virginia. By contrast, just 15 percent of Deliverance readers were from Georgia and South Carolina, though if we include other states in which Dickey lived, such as Florida, California, and Wisconsin, the percentage of fans with ties to Dickey's residences rises to 31 percent.
In chapter 3 I observe, “Twenty percent or more of Arnow's admiring correspondents were rural-to-urban migrants.” I derived this figure by noting that, of Hunter's Horn fans, five were Kentucky out-migrants, one fan moved from rural southern Illinois to Cleveland, and another moved from rural southwest Virginia to Wilmington, for a total of seven southern rural-to-urban out-migrants. Including a rural-to-urban migrant in England, eight of thirty-eight Hunter's Horn fan mail writers, or 20.5 percent, were rural-to-urban migrants. Of ninety Dollmaker fans, eighteen were themselves migrants—ten of whom felt Arnow's novel captured something they had experienced. In addition to out-migrant fans from Kentucky, three fans described other migration experiences in their letters (Indiana to Iowa, California to Colorado to Arizona, and New Mexico to Texas), for a total of 23 percent.
Chapter 4, Part I: Christy
Catherine Marshall's correspondence over the thirty-three years from the publication of her first book until her death, not including her business (p.242) mail, fills thirty boxes at her alma mater, Agnes Scott College, in Atlanta, Georgia. It is my fortune that Marshall organized her mail according to topic rather than simply chronologically. Although Marshall had seven New York Times best sellers, she received more fan mail about Christy than any other title. The topic “Correspondence with Readers: Christy” fills three boxes (boxes 11–13), more than any of her other works, even though it represents fewer years (1967–1983) than five of her best sellers; only Julie (1984) was published later. By contrast, fan mail about the best-selling A Man Called Peter (1951) fits in one box; fan mail about Beyond Ourselves (1961), which was not a best seller, fills two boxes. Fan mail about her best seller To Live Again (1957) fills just one-third of a box.
The folders for the years 1967 and 1968 (box 11, folders 1 and 2) contain in each instance an original letter and Marshall 's carbon-copied reply. There are 34 extant Christy fan letters and replies for 1967, the year of Christy's release, and 49 letters and replies for 1968. Beginning in 1969, Marshall began to receive so much fan mail that she was unable to save it all. I counted 92 replies for the second half of the year alone, which suggests that she may have received as many as 184 letters; I counted 46 replies for a three-month period of the following year, which suggests that she may have received approximately 184 letters again in 1970. Unfortunately, only 10 percent to 20 percent of the original letters are attached to Marshall 's replies from 1969 forward. I was unable to ascertain the criteria Marshall used to select which letters to retain despite the fact that, through 1970, Marshall 's replies were so thorough and personal that they give a very good sense of the contents of the original. From extant originals, we can see that Marshall handwrote her response (or, in rare cases, noted “no answer”) on each fan's letter, answering the fan's questions and directing her or him to resources. Marshall's secretary then included Marshall 's notes in a typed reply and filed a carbon copy. The care Marshall took in responding to fans' comments and concerns in these early years often made it possible for me to deduce the topics covered in the original fan letter. After 1970, however, Marshall 's more perfunctory replies contain little data about the unretained fan letters other than the fan's name and address.
Marshall explained her system in a letter to photographer William A. Barnhill: “Because of the tremendous volume of correspondence that crosses my desk, we have had to evolve a system whereby we make up an index card containing data on the writer of any particular letter, his (p.243) address, and a brief synopsis of the contents—sometimes but one sentence or two—then file only the card. Otherwise we should have an office furnished only with filing cabinets! I shall, however, keep your letter of February 10 in a special file so that we can refer to it in the future. I fear the one of November 24 is long gone.”38
By the ten-year anniversary of Christy's publication, fan mail seems to have slackened somewhat, based on extant originals and replies. I counted 82 letters from 1977 and 69 from 1978. Marshall received at least 19 Christy letters in the second half of 1982 (June-December), just months before her passing. This final Christy folder (box 13, folder 5) contains many original letters, which suggests that those who organized Marshall's affairs after her death were not so quick to throw away fan mail as she was—or not as methodic, in any case.
In order to assess Marshall's copious fan mail, I first skimmed well over 500 extant letters and replies received from 1967 through 1973; at the ten-year anniversary of Christy's publication in 1977; and in the nine months prior to Marshall's death in March 1983. When I found epistles regarding Christy's mountain setting or characters, I took notes and/or photocopies for further analysis. In 1967 and 1968, about one-third of the letters mentioned the setting or the mountain characters. In 1969, 17 out of 65 letters (26 percent) in the January-April folder and 16 out of 92 (17 percent) in the May-December folder mentioned Appalachia. All told, the letters on which my arguments are based total 445: 3 in general correspondence; in Christy correspondence: 37 filed in 1967, 49 in 1968, 90 in 1969, 84 in 1970, 25 in 1971, 32 in 1972, 47 in 1973, 38 in 1977, 19 in 1982, and 1 in 1983; and 20 found in other folders (see below).
In addition to Marshall's Christy correspondence files, I examined her General Correspondence from Readers, where Marshall filed letters that referred to multiple books. In these twenty-six folders, a mere handful refer to Christy (see box 4, folder 3, Correspondence with Readers, 1962–1969). Marshall also kept nine boxes of files labeled Correspondence with Readers: Topical Files, which largely covered spiritual issues such as “Death,” “Bereavement,” and “Deliverance.” My analysis includes the subject file “Appalachia,” which contains just three replies to fan letters and a brochure about a children's home in Tennessee. Box 28, Correspondence with Readers: Would-be Writers, 1975–1983, includes nine folders containing letters that reference Marshall 's nonfiction almost exclusively. Just eight letters from this box (all from folder 2, 1977) are included in (p.244) my analysis. That I was able to get a sampling from this box is due to the generosity of Marianne Bradley, librarian at Agnes Scott College, who marked letters in this box for my attention.
Other archival sources include boxes 69–71, Christy Manuscripts: Research. I examined just one of them (box 70, Railroad—Women), which included a large number of tourist brochures about the “Southern Appalachian Mountains,” the “Great Smoky Mountains,” and “The Land of Sky” from Southern Railways, chambers of commerce, and tourist boards; a note from Marshall reminding herself about the “good chapter” on “Elizabethan Virtues” from Land of Saddle Bags; tracts on Scots-Irish ancestry in the mountains; comments from her informant Mary Ruble regarding the Craftsman's Fair in Gatlinburg; and a 1950s Knoxville News-Sentinel series on out-migration from Tennessee. My assessment of Marshall's imagined geography of Appalachia was informed by these materials, as well as by the books included in box 71, including John Campbell's The Southern Highlander and His Homeland (1921), Charles Dudley's On Horseback: A Tour in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee (1888), and John Fox Jr.'s A Knight of the Cumberland: Hell-fer-Sartain (1906).
Chapter 4, Part II: Deliverance
The James Dickey Papers (ca. 1924–1997, bulk 1961–1997) are housed in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dickey's General Correspondence (Subseries 1.2) is filed separately from Family Correspondence. General Correspondence from the time between February 1970, when an excerpt of Deliverance was first published in the Atlantic Monthly, and Dickey's death in 1996 fills fifty-two boxes. The novel was released in March 1970.
From these boxes, I sought out letters that discussed Dickey's best-selling novel. I analyzed every extant Deliverance letter from February 1970 through 1971, totaling 156. I then examined letters that Dickey received in October 1972, shortly after the film version's release. Deliverance premiered in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta at the end of July and beginning of August 1972 and opened in South Carolina as late as December. I chose to examine October correspondence because it had by far the greatest volume of mail of all of 1972. (The disproportionate thickness of the October folder may be in part due to the fact that Dickey filed correspondence in the month he replied to letters, rather than the month (p.245) he received them.) In order to get a sense of what proportion of fan mail over time continued to discuss Deliverance, I also examined all extant letters Dickey received in 1973, in April through October of 1980 (the ten-year anniversary of the novel's release), and in 1996 (the year of Dickey's death). In these later years, Dickey received increasing numbers of letters from fans who simply asked for an autograph or from students and would-be writers who hoped that Dickey would help with school papers or provide feedback on their writing. I also examined all undated correspondence (boxes 88–90) for Deliverance letters.
Most of Dickey's extant General Correspondence comprises letters from acquaintances: friends, business or literary associates, and regular correspondents who wrote for some reason other than Deliverance, though some of these mentioned Deliverance in the course of their epistolary exchanges. I labeled as “fan-acquaintance” correspondents who wrote because of Deliverance but who had some connection to Dickey prior to writing. Fan-acquaintances included, for example, correspondents who had met Dickey at an event, friends of friends, and people whom Dickey had sent a copy of the novel and who then wrote to thank him. I labeled as “fans” those correspondents with no prior connection to Dickey who wrote unsolicited fan letters motivated by Deliverance or by publicity surrounding it. I placed correspondents into one of the three categories largely based on context clues (for example, their form of address to Dickey as “Dear Jim” versus “Dear Mr. Dickey”) but in some cases crosschecked names with the indexed list of Dickey's regular correspondents available at the archive. My arguments are based largely on eighty-five pieces of unsolicited fan mail from unknown admirers. (Forty of these are dated 1970, seventeen dated 1971, seven dated 1972, fifteen dated 1973, four dated 1980, and two dated 1996). I supplemented these arguments with data from Deliverance letters written by forty-two fan-acquaintances and seventy-nine acquaintances. The original envelopes plus typed copies of Dickey's replies usually accompanied the letters. These were often helpful in determining the name, address, and sometimes the occupations of his correspondents. I also drew upon Dickey's replies, where pertinent, to help me understand and characterize his construction of Appalachia.
In addition to correspondence, I examined materials from Series 6: Subject Files (box 232, Appalachia Books, Appalachian Journal, and Appalachian State University Commencement, 14 May 1994; and boxes 240–41, Deliverance); Series 8: Printed Material, including Subseries 8.1: (p.246) Promotional Material (boxes 286, OP 19, and OBV1); and Series 9: Clippings, Subseries 9.2: News Stories and Profiles (box 352), Subseries 9.3: Reviews (box 359), Subseries 9.4: Promotional Material (box 362), and Subseries 9.5: Other Miscellaneous Clippings (OP162, Miscellaneous Oversize Clippings). Of these, by far the most useful was Subseries 8.1, OBV1, a scrapbook containing a plethora of Deliverance review clippings. I augmented my archival research with additional reviews that I located using Web-based databases.
Chapter 5: At Home in Mitford, Cold Mountain, Big Stone Gap, and Clay's Quilt
When the total number of customer reviews for one of these four texts was relatively small, I examined all available customer reviews on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com from the novel's publication through June 2010. This was possible for Clay's Quilt and Big Stone Gap. When the reviews numbered in the hundreds or the thousands, however, I began by examining all reviews on both bookseller sites posted during the first full year after the novel's publication. This was 10 July 1997–10 July 1998 for Cold Mountain and 16 June 1996–16 June 1997 for At Home in Mitford (though Mitford was initially published in 1994, there are no customer reviews available prior to 1996, by which time multiple editions were available, including from Penguin). To gain a sense of later reception patterns, I then read all reviews posted during the year 2003 (the congressionally designated “Year of Appalachia”) on both sites. For all four novels, I identified patterns in readers' responses from these base sets. Once I established overarching themes, I sometimes drew from other years for the best examples of those themes for Cold Mountain and At Home in Mitford.
There are discrepancies between the versions of customer reviews available online at any given time. For example, between 2004 and 2010, some reviews disappeared and in some cases some information about the reviewer was removed. It is not uncommon for the dates of the reviews to have changed slightly. On Amazon, the dates are sometimes one day off (for example, the date in 2010 read 16 January 1997, but in 2004 it read 15 January 1997). On Barnes and Noble's Web site, I have found instances where the date shifted by four days. (A review titled “Clay's Quilt” was in 2004 dated 16 August 2002, but in 2010 dated 12 August 2002.) Because of the discrepancies and the possibility of ongoing revisions, I have relied (p.247) on my earlier printouts from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com (dated February 2004, in possession of the author) when constructing my citations. In 2004, Amazon listed anonymous posts as made by “A reader”; Barnes and Noble customers wishing for anonymity generally chose to identify themselves as “A reader” or “A reviewer.” I have retained the label “A reader” for anonymous reviewers despite the fact that Amazon has now changed the designation to “A customer” and Barnes and Noble currently uses “Anonymous” in these instances. In some cases the reader has changed identifying information such as name or location at some point since 2004. Where I found discrepancies, I used the 2004 data. (p.248)
(1.) Raymond Williams, Writing in Society (London: Verso, 1983).
(2.) A number of scholars have examined hypothetical readers. In addition to Ralph Waldo Emerson's “creative reader,” critics have identified the narratee (the reader addressed by the narrator, whom Gerald Prince argues is better understood as another character), the implied reader (expected and controlled by the text, according to Wolfgang Iser), and the model reader (a reader whose shared codes are assumed by the author, according to Umberto Eco). Criticism employing the concept of an “ideal” reader may construe him or her as a universal figure or may assume that each text has its own optimal reader. Similarly, critics of the “interpretive communities” framework advanced by Stanley Fish claim that his theory suggests a reader is confined to interpretations that are intended by the author and that the reader is trained to make. See Elizabeth Freund, The Return of the Reader: Reader-Response Criticism (New York: Methuen, 1987), 7, 107–8; Stanley Fish, Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Community (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980).
(3.) Wolfgang Iser, “Indeterminacy and the Reader's Response in Prose Fiction,” in Aspects of Narrative, ed. J. Hillis Miller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971), 4–12; Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981). Critics of Iser and Jauss, like those of Fish, argue that their imagined reader is too universalized, without recognition of individual, racial, gendered, and classed experiences. See Rona Kaufman, “‘That, My Dear, Is Called Reading’: Oprah's Book Club and the Construction of a Readership,” in Reading Sites: Social Difference and Reader Response, ed. Patrocinio P. Schweickart and Elizabeth A. Flynn (New York: Modern Language Association, 2004), 251.
(4.) See Philip Goldstein and James L. Machor, eds., New Directions in American Reception Study (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). For a critique of this text-centered approach, see Janice Radway's contribution to this collection, “What's the Matter with Reception Study? Some Thoughts on the Disciplinary Origins, Conceptual Constraints, and Persistent Viability of a Paradigm,” 327–51.
(5.) Richard H. Brodhead, Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in Nineteenth-Century America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 153; Nathalia Wright, introduction to In the Tennessee Mountains, by Mary Noailles Murfree (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1970), xiii.
(6.) Henry Holt, “The Commercialization of Literature,” Atlantic Monthly, November 1905, 577–600.
(7.) Alice Payne Hackett, 70 Years of Best Sellers, 1895–1965 (New York: Bowker, 1967), 2; Frank Luther Mott, The Golden Multitudes: The Story of Best Sellers in the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 204–6. See also Laura (p.327) J. Miller, “The Best-Seller List as Marketing Tool and Historical Fiction,” Book History 3 (2000): 289.
(8.) Bill York, John Fox, Jr., Appalachian Author (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003), 176. Hackett, 70 Years of Best Sellers, 24, 27, 34–35, 99, 104.
(9.) Keith L. Justice, Best-seller Index: All Books, Publishers Weekly and the New York Times through 1990 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1998), 1.
(10.) From 1911 to 1919, Publishers Weekly had published various best-seller lists produced by, or based on, other publications. Mott, Golden Multitudes, 205; Justice, Best-seller Index, 4.
(11.) The New York Times' first published list in 1931 noted the five best sellers for New York City. Over the following months and years, the Times expanded its lists based on sales information from “major bookstores, department stores, and wholesalers” for multiple cities (Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 290). Justice, Best-seller Index, 7.
(12.) Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 292.
(13.) Nielsen, http://en-us.nielsen.com/content/nielsen/en_us/insights/rankings/books.html (accessed 11 October 2010). According to the Web site, Nielsen Bookscan does not include sales from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, or to libraries.
(14.) Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 287.
(15.) Justice, Best-seller Index, 6–8.
(16.) ibid., 3. Miller, citing Kenneth C. Davis, Two-Bit Culture (1984), contradicts Justice when she states that the New York Times “featured a list of best-selling paperbacks for the first time in 1962” but “expanded its regular weekly lists to include paperbacks only in 1976” (“The Best-Seller List,” 293).
(17.) Justice, Best-seller Index, 9.
(18.) Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 291.
(19.) Justice, Best-seller Index, 1–3; Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 289–300.
(20.) Cratis Williams, “The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction,” Appalachian Journal 3 (1975–76): 8–162; Lorise C. Boger, The Southern Mountaineer in Literature: An Annotated Bibliography (Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1964); “Mountain Fiction from Abernethy to Zugsmith … from 1832 to 1985: 1,517 Works of Fiction by Southern Appalachian Authors, or with Southern Appalachian Settings” (Hutchins Library, Berea College, Berea, KY, 1985).
(21.) Hunter's Horn peaked during the week of 14 August 1949. Justice, Best-seller Index, 26. In 1949, the list was based on thirty-four cities (“The Best Sellers,” New York Times, 26 June 1949, BR8). The Dollmaker appeared from 16 May to 21 November 1954, and then reappeared three times between 5 December 1954 and 9 January 1955. The 1954 lists were based on thirty-six cities (“Best Seller List,” New York Times, 16 May 1954, BR8).
(22.) Justice, Best-seller Index, 93–94, 212.
(23.) Look Homeward was, however, a surprise hit, according to an advertisement Scribner placed in the New York Times: “Within ten days a first printing (p.328) twice as large as that of the average first novel was completely exhausted and a second was necessary” (12 January 1930, 71). Of Time and the River (1935), in which Eugene Gant leaves Asheville for Harvard, New York, and Europe was on the Publishers Weekly list for twenty-eight weeks. You Can't Go Home Again (1940) was on the Publishers Weekly list for twelve weeks. The Web and the Rock (1939) made the Publishers Weekly and New York Times lists for a total of twenty weeks. The Hills Beyond (1941) appeared on the Publishers Weekly list for four weeks (Justice, Best-seller Index, 333). Wolfe's correspondence is housed at the University of North Carolina.
(24.) Stuart's correspondence is housed at the University of Louisville.
(25.) For a rare and insightful treatment of Godwin's treatment of Appalachia, see Jane Hill, “Coming to Terms with the Appalachian ‘Other’ in the Novels of Gail Godwin,” Journal of Kentucky Studies 11 (1995): 98–105. Justice, Best-seller Index, 333, 136, 297, 258, 128. The southern elite in Godwin's Asheville of A Southern Family begrudgingly acknowledge the “acceptability” of middle-class Jewish and even African American neighbors, who (because they are immaculate gardeners) assimilate nicely into the 1980s suburban world of the bluebloods. The novel's mountain white “tribe” (A Southern Family [New York: Morrow, 1987], 306), however, lives in a “a god-awful place worse than Dogpatch where [they] have camped out in squalor for ten generations” (280), a debris-littered holler that serves as “tangible evidence of a cluster of attitudes that, if shared by enough people, could bring down civilization” (374). Hill provides a counter-reading to this scene. Godwin's correspondence is housed at the University of North Carolina.
(26.) Miller, “The Best-Seller List,” 292. See “Best Selling Books Database,” USA Today, http://content.usatoday.com/life/books/booksdatabase/default.aspx (accessed 28 May 2010).
(27.) It is industry commonplace that best-selling authors publish best sellers. For discussion of the ways in which movies, Oprah's Book Club, and authors' veteran status contributed to creating best sellers in the United States, see Dermot McEvoy and Daisy Maryles, “The Paperback Game; Movies, Oprah and Current Events Influence the Lists; Fiction Veterans Ride High,” Publishers Weekly, 18 March 2002. In her study of the British publishing industry, Claire Squires notes industry insiders attest that known authors are one of the most persuasive means of encouraging a consumer to buy a book (Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain [New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007], 87).
(28.) See Richard J. Butler, Benjamin W. Cowan, and Sebastian Nilsson, “From Obscurity to Best-seller: Examining the Impact of Oprah's Book Club Selections,” Publishing Research Quarterly 20, no. 4 (2005): 23–34. According to Beth Driscoll, selection by Oprah “generates sales of 500,000 to one million copies, whereas most literary titles in the United States struggle to reach 30,000 sales.” “How Oprah's Book Club Reinvented the Woman Reader,” Popular (p.329) Narrative Media 1, no. 2 (2008): 144. On the role of Oprah and film adaptations in creating best sellers, see also Bob Minzesheimer, “10 Years of Best Sellers: How the Landscape Has Changed,” USA Today, 11 March 2004, cover story.
(29.) Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “Fan,” http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50082087/50082087se4?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=fan+mail&first=1&max_to_show=10&hilite=50082087se4 (accessed 18 August 2010); Daniel Cavicchi, Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning among Springsteen Fans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 38–39. On “the fancy” and “fanciers,” Cavicchi quotes etymologist Robert Barnhart.
(30.) Amy L. Blair, “Main Street Reading Main Street,” in New Directions in American Reception Study, ed. Philip Goldstein and James L. Machor (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 145. Models for analysis of fan mail include articles by Barbara Ryan and Amy Blair. Barbara Ryan accesses fan mail through thirty-seven letters written to Gene Stratton-Porter, author of Freckles (1904) and A Girl of the Limberlost (1909). The letters were solicited by the author herself in response to a poor reception by critics and published in a memoir by her daughter. See Ryan, “‘A Real Basis from Which to Judge’: Fan Mail to Gene Stratton Porter,” in Reading Acts: U.S. Readers Interactions with Literature, 1800–1950, ed. Barbara Ryan and Amy M. Thomas (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2002), 161–78, and “‘Wherever I Am Living’: The ‘Lady of the Limberlost’ Resituates,” in Breaking Boundaries: New Perspectives on Women's Regional Writing, ed. Sherrie A. Inness and Diana Royer (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1997), 162–79. Blair's work on Sinclair Lewis's Main Street examines eighty-two letters, twenty-six of which she examined more closely as “substantial letters from relative strangers that discuss Main Street at some length”; she carefully distinguishes between letters that were received in the years immediately following the novel's initial release and those that discuss the novel “retrospectively.” See also Blair's “Misreading The House of Mirth,” American Literature 76, no. 1 (2004): 149–75.
(31.) See, for example, Amy Harmon, “Amazon Glitch Unmasks War of Reviewers,” New York Times, 14 February 2004.
(32.) Pew Internet and American Life Project, “Usage Over Time,” http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data/Usage-Over-Time.aspx, n.d. (accessed 22 September 2004). Data is from surveys conducted in 2002.
(33.) Andrew Stevenson to Murfree, 6 January 1922, Mary Noailles Murfree Papers, 1877–1928, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
(34.) Reese M. Carleton, “Mary Noailles Murfree (1850–1922): An Annotated Bibliography,” American Literary Realism, 1870–1910 7 (1974): 293–378; Eva Malone Byrd, “The Life and Writings of Mary Noailles Murfree” (MA thesis, University of Tennessee, 1937); Eleanor B. Spence, “Collected Reminiscences of Mary N. Murfree” (MA thesis, George Peabody School for Teachers, 1928).
(35.) Katie Algeo, “Locals on Local Color: Imagining Identity in Appalachia,” Southern Cultures 4, no. 4 (2003): 27–54.
(p.330) (36.) Arnow to “Elizabeth,” likely her sister Elizabeth Whiting, undated but filed between letters dated 30 November and 3 December 1954, Harriette Simpson Arnow Papers, Special Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
(37.) Sandra L. Ballard, “Harriette Simpson Arnow's Life as a Writer,” in Harriette Simpson Arnow: Critical Essays on Her Work, ed. Haeja K. Chung (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995), 28.
(38.) Marshall to William A. Barnhill, 17 February 1970, Catherine Marshall Collection, box 11, folder 5, Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, GA. Based on the finding aid and librarian Marianne Bradley's observations, it does not appear that the index card system Marshall described was preserved for prosperity.