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Hovis reviews Morgan

Saturday Review: “Appalachian Journeys” a review by George Hovis in NCLR Online Spring 2024 of Robert Morgans’s collection In the Snowbird Mountain and Other Stories (2023) and Rebecca Godwin’s monograph Community Across Time: Robert Morgan’s Words for Home (2023)

Longtime readers of NCLR know we have published many pieces by and about 2010 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Robert Morgan. Our inaugural Spring issue adds to the collection of Morgan material. Editorial Board member George Hovis places two new works–one by and one about Morgan–into the context of a body of work.

About frequent reviewer and contributor Rebecca Godwin’s monograph, Hovis writes, “Community Across Time reads Morgan’s fiction and poetry as a palimpsest that builds upon family lore and regional history, breathing life into a past that has passed into oblivion under waves of industrialization and late capitalism.” Godwin dives deeply into Morgan’s own biographical history and showcases how family plays a critical role in Morgan’s fiction.

On the other hand, “In contrast to Morgan’s novels, which explore networks of kinship and community, In the Snowbird Mountains is distinguished by a focus on the isolated self confronting mortality.” Hovis writes. He gives brief character arcs from the handful of stories, dwelling most on the story “Devil’s Courthouse,” and pointing out the similarities and differences to EA Poe’s work, which is of particular interest to Morgan himself.

Finally, Hovis ends with “Robert Morgan’s deep ties to family and community across time, and to their collective roots in Appalachia, yield protagonists who may suffer terrible pain and fear but who are never divested of their humanity.” Surely why this professor emeritus remains an important literary icon.

Read the entire review in the Online Spring 2024 issue out now! And order Morgan’s from and Godwin’s also from