Jeremy B. Jones, assistant professor of English at Western Carolina University and author of “Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland,” has won a gold medal for his work in the autobiography/memoir classification of the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
“Bearwallow” recounts Jones’ return with his wife to the Southern Appalachian homeland settled by his ancestors about 200 years ago, where he took a job as a teacher alongside his own childhood teachers and experienced an ongoing connection with the mountain for which the memoir is named.
“Region can shape people in a specific way,” Jones said in a December interview with Bethany Chafin of public radio station WFDD in the Piedmont. “The book asks, overtly in the early part, ‘What does it mean to be mountain people and how are we shaped?’ It’s not artifice for the book; I genuinely was asking that question.”
The “IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Established as the first awards program open exclusively to independents, over 3,000 recognitions have been awarded to authors and publishers around the world.
For more information about the competition and the complete list of this year’s winners, see the organization’s web page at independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1936.
By Keith Brenton