Robert Gipe's Trampoline

Looking forward to returning to McConnell Library at Radford University tonight to attend Robert Gipe's reading from his illustrated novel, Trampoline (hardcover, 360 pages, Ohio University Press,  3/17/15, ISBN 978-0821421529.)

This reading is part of the Highland Summer Conference.  With more than two hundred drawings throughout the narrative, this debut novel this would be a good addition to the English and Appalachian Studies collection at the Virginia Tech Library, so I submitted a request today.   Gipe is  also a playwright whose work has attracted the attention of the NYT.

Readers here know of many folks in Appalachia, young and old, who equate the fight to save mountains and  to stay in their native home and make life more sustainable with love and survival, rather than its opposite. Gipe sets his story in Kentucky, where his narrator, teenager Dawn Jewell's  father Delbert has died in a coal mines leaves her mother Tricia  a grieving drunk while her grandmother Cora fights to stop mountaintop removal.

The publisher's summary is that  Dawn must decide "whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or ruled by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life."   Does Gipe truly view things as a dichotomy or is this Dawn's point of view or is the publisher thinking this is a dramatic "elevator pitch." I've yet to lay my hands on a copy of the book to read it but I'm looking forward to finding out.