Friday, March 16, 2007

Ron Rash's "One Foot in Eden"

Ron Rash is the Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Literature at Western Carolina University.

He is the author of the novels One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight, as well as three collections of poetry and two of short stories. His poetry and fiction have been published in more than 80 journals and magazines.

Rash applied the "Page 99 Test" to One Foot in Eden and reported the following:
I decided to go back to my first novel, One Foot in Eden, for my page 99, and I found the following sentence. “That witch had caught that baby, pulled it right out of its mother and cut the biblical cord.” That sentence reveals a lot about the speaker, a teenager in 1950’s Appalachia who is terrified that she will be punished by God or the Devil for having a child by a man other than her husband. The “biblical cord” is not a phrase I’ve ever heard, but it reflects Amy’s state of mind aptly, for it suggests her belief she’s cut her links to God and thus allowed darker forces to control her and her child’s destiny. The world Amy lives in is a place where the supernatural is as real a presence as the world of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and like Macbeth Amy can never be sure if the evil that seems to steer some of her decisions comes from without or within.
Visit the publisher's website to read a description of One Foot in Eden and to sample the praise for Rash's writing from Lee Smith, Pat Conroy, and others.

--Marshal Zeringue