Born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, independent scholar and creative writer Gloria Anzaldua was an internationally acclaimed cultural theorist. As the author of Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzaldua played a major role in shaping contemporary Chicano/a and lesbian/queer theories and identities.
Tradition, community, and pride are fundamental aspects of the history of Appalachia, and the language of the region is a living testament to its rich heritage. Despite the persistence of unflattering stereotypes and cultural discrimination associated with their style of speech, Appalachians have organized to preserve regional dialects -- complex forms of English peppered with words, phrases, and pronunciations unique to the area and its people. Talking Appalachian examines these distinctive speech varieties and emphasizes their role in expressing local history and promoting a shared identity.
"Like my children, I grew up speaking what I considered two distinctively different languages--black English and standard English (or as I thought of them then, the ordinary everyday speech of "country" coloreds and "proper" English)--and in the process of acquiring these languages, I developed an understanding of when, where, and how to use them. But unlike my children, I grew up in a world that was primarily black."
The contributors explore a variety of subjects, including the success of African American Appalachian English and southern Appalachian English speakers in professional and corporate positions. In addition, editors Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward provide excerpts from essays, poetry, short fiction, and novels to illustrate usage. With contributions from well-known authors such as George Ella Lyon and Silas House, this balanced collection is the most comprehensive, accessible study of Appalachian language available today.