Posts Tagged ‘American Literature’

First entry for “Books”

February 3, 2008

The very first entry is about a classic series of American literature.

The Foxfire books are a series of anthologies of articles from Foxfire magazine. The first book of the series was published in 1972. As of 2004, the most recent is Foxfire 12; also as of that date, there are nearly nine million copies of the various books in print.

The series is an effort to document the lifestyle, culture, and skills of people in southern Appalachia in a mixture of how-to information and first-person narratives and oral history. Topics covered in the books include apple butter, banjos, basket weaving, beekeeping, butter churning, corn shucking, dulcimers, faith healing, fiddle making, haints, ginseng cultivation, hide tanning, hog dressing, hunting tales, log cabin building, moonshining, midwives, old-time burial customs, planting “by the signs”, preserving foods, sassafras tea, snake handling and lore, soap making, spinning, square dancing, wagon making, weaving, wild food gathering, witches, and wood carving.

Eight of the first nine of the books were edited by Eliot Wigginton, a high school teacher at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, who set up the Foxfire Fund, based on articles his students had written that were previously published in magazine form. The magazine was named after foxfire, the bioluminescent fungi sometimes seen in a forest. The magazine was founded in 1966 by Wigginton, who was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 1989.

Though conceived primarily as a sociological work, the books, particularly the early ones, were a commercial success as instructional works. Members of the back-to-the-land movement used them as a blueprint for their attempts to return to a life of simplicity. The publication is an imprint of Random House and has become a project of Rabun County, Georgia High School.

[edit] List of the books

Related books include:

  • Memories of a Mountain Shortline, 1976, Foxfire Press; 2001
  • Aunt Arie: A Foxfire Portrait, 1983, Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93292-5
  • The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery, 1984; 1992, University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4395-4
  • The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Toys & Games, 1985; 1993, University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4425-X
  • A Foxfire Christmas, 1996, University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4618-X
  • Teaching by Heart: The Foxfire Interviews, 2004, Teacher’s College Press. ISBN 0-8077-4539-1 (hardbound), ISBN 0-8077-4538-3 (paperback)
  • Foxfire’s Book of Wood Stove Cookery 2006


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