Notes Concerning the Author
Fred Chappell was Born in 1936 in Canton, North Carolina, was for 40 years on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has been Poet Laureate of his State. He is one of the foremost American writers of our time. Chappell belongs to the select company of Southern greats—Edgar Allan Poe, William Gilmore Simms, Robert Penn Warren, George Garrett and Wendell Berry—who have excelled equally in poetry, fiction, and essay.
An early Chappell novel, Dagon, was named the best “foreign” book of the year by the prestigious Academie Francaise. Since then Chappell has published well over 20 books in a variety of genres and has won the Bollingen Prize, usually considered the top award for poetry in the U.S. His poetic volumes, like Midquest, Earthsleep, and The River have received the highest praise, as have his translations of classical poetry. In the quartet of novels (sometimes called short story collections) that begins with I Am One of You Forever, Chappell chronicles the life of the Kirkman family of western North Carolina. The series begins in the years before World War II but throughout moves both forward to the present and backward for several generations. The first of the series was called “a magical, wonderful book” and one that gets better with each reading. The books are not easy to describe, incorporating both a profound tragic sense of life and uproarious fantasy and humour. Perhaps the true theme is love—love of family, love of community, unrequited love, love of Creation and humanity.
Availability of these Novels
Most volumes of the quartet are in print and/or available as used books in both paperback and hardback.