CREEKER by Linda Scott DeRosier


A Woman's Journey
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A memoir of growing up in, and then living outside of, eastern Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains, by an author proud of her heritage. Linda Sue Preston Scott DeRosier may not be as famous as Loretta Lynn, Appalachia’s most beloved daughter, but her journey has been as long as, and perhaps even more unlikely than, that of the “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Born at home in 1941, raised in the rural community of Two-Mile Creek, and finding herself still unmarried at 17, she went to college on a scholarship and, among many other experiences (marriage, work, raising a son), discovered that what she truly craved was knowledge. Now a professor of psychology at Rocky Mountain College, she offers this book as her tribute to the family who nurtured her and the community that, though DeRosier lives in Montana, she still calls home. Her hillbilly-influenced syntax (for which a full and entertaining glossary is provided) shines through the palimpsests of higher education and feminism, giving readers a hint of what life as a “creeker” (i.e., one who grew up in the more rural “hollers” of Appalachia) must have sounded like. Though her childhood was in some ways characteristic of those highly intelligent women who grew up stifled by the “50s and discovered themselves in the “60s, there is nothing typical about this memoir, which is full of not only the language but also the values, humor, and perseverance of DeRosier’s family. The sheer amount of physical work, as portrayed in her descriptions of the routine of chores and cooking and farming, provide quite a contrast to the Leave It to Beaver image of the typical “50s suburban household. By the time she writes that “there is a comin—-home spirit that is an essential part of growing up in Appalachia,” that much, and quite a bit more, is abundantly clear. Rich in both language and history, enjoyable, informative, and “sharper—n ary tack.” (32 b&w photos, unseen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8131-2123-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Univ. Press of Kentucky
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999


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