Wade Talbot relishes the chaos of journalism. He starts as an editor of a weekly newspaper in North Carolina and becomes a reporter in New York just as the civil rights struggles explode in the 1960s. Becky Anderson leaps from her little southern town to college, to New York and then to Europe, where through sheer grit she becomes a force in the movie business. Wade romanticizes his boyhood in the hills of home. Becky, perennially short of money, can't wait to break away. But something clicks between them. They compete, they quarrel, they savage each other, and one day in the deep rolling hills of old Virginia they come together. Carolyn Pfeiffer, producer of many movies including The Whales of August, said of Mountain Girl, "It takes us to worlds lost and changed, to placed marked in the heart and wistfully remembered, as told through the eyes of an author who lived it and remembered and now asks us to live it with him." Wyatt Durrette, trail lawyer, author and 1985 Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, wrote, "Ken takes us places you've never been and makes you feel that you were there. You catch glimpses of your own life, special moments when the coincidence of love and passion set sail, what is, what might have been. I am grateful I read this novel." Mountain Girl is a primer on the American civil rights movement, a gritty travelogue with stops in Paris and an island in the Mediterranean, and a sexual duel in which both partners learn and grow. Becky and Wade begin to hike the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, and Wade finds, finally, a theme for the novel he wants to write. But at a cost. He walks alone at the end to keep a promise, to climb a special mountain.
- Paperback | 328 pages
- 152 x 229 x 18mm | 440g
- 21 Jan 2013
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
About Ken Byerly
Born on a farm in North Carolina, Ken Byerly came of age in Wyoming and Montana. He attended the University of Montana on an athletic scholarship, played football and basketball and graduated in journalism. He returned to North Carolina college summers and measured tobacco acreage for the government on farms high in the hills. As editor of the Tidewater News in Franklin, Virginia, Ken won awards from the Virginia Press Association for editorial, news, feature and sports writing. He worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and left to travel for a year in Europe, where he lived in Paris and on the Island of Ibiza on meager funds. He carried with him an old Royal portable typewriter and began to write. Several of those early efforts survive today in Good Looking Bloke and Running Free, his two volumes of short stories. Ken specialized in politics and civil rights as a reporter for Newsday in the New York City area. He helped author the bestselling sex spoof Naked Came the Stranger and wrote the original book for the musical Cowboy, based on the life of Western painter Charles M. Russell, which played briefly in theaters east and west. Ken became a stockbroker in New York City, retired relatively early and with his wife, Priscilla, returned for several years to Montana, where he researched his novel Ghost Dance. He and Priscilla now live in Vermont. With her help, Ken completed a multi-year hike of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail.