Crystal Wilkinson Books In Order | Full List 02/2024

Crystal Wilkinson is an accomplished author whose works often revolve around themes of family, resilience, and the rural American South. She has written several books that have received critical acclaim and garnered a dedicated readership.

Crystal Wilkinson Books in Order

  1. The Birds of Opulence
  2. The Best Short Stories 2021: The O. Henry Prize Winners
  3. Blackberries, Blackberries
  4. Water Street
  5. Perfect Black
  6. Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia
  7. Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia
  8. Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets
  9. Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks
  10. Holler

Summary of Crystal Wilkinson Books in Order

The Birds of Opulence

“The Birds of Opulence” by Crystal Wilkinson is a novel that explores the lives of several generations of women in a rural Kentucky community. The story is set in the small town of Opulence, where the Asbury family has lived for generations. The narrative revolves around the lives of four women from the Asbury family, beginning with Minnie Mae, who struggles with mental illness and the pressure of family expectations. Her daughter, Francine, seeks to break free from the constraints of her upbringing, while her granddaughter, Tina, grapples with her own desires and obligations. The novel delves into the complexities of family dynamics, the weight of generational expectations, and the search for self-discovery and expression.

The novel is deeply rooted in the traditions and culture of the region, offering a rich portrayal of the struggles and joys experienced by the characters. Through the lens of the Asbury family, the author examines themes of identity, womanhood, and the passage of time. Crystal Wilkinson’s writing is both lyrical and evocative, capturing the essence of the rural Kentucky landscape and bringing to life the interconnected stories of the women in the Asbury family. “The Birds of Opulence” is a poignant and intimate exploration of the ties that bind us to our past and the quest for individual fulfillment.

Overall, “The Birds of Opulence” offers a thought-provoking and insightful portrayal of the complexities of family relationships and the enduring legacy of the past. Wilkinson’s storytelling skillfully weaves together the stories of the women of the Asbury family, creating a compelling and emotionally resonant narrative that captures the reader’s imagination.

The Best Short Stories 2021: The O. Henry Prize Winners

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Blackberries, Blackberries

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Water Street

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Perfect Black

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Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia

“Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia” by Crystal Wilkinson is a collection of short stories that offer a glimpse into the lives of people from the Appalachian region. The stories are set in contemporary times and explore a wide range of themes such as poverty, racism, and the struggle for identity. Through her prose, Wilkinson brings alive the rich culture and traditions of the region while also shedding light on the challenges faced by its inhabitants.

The characters in the stories come from diverse backgrounds and each one has a unique story to tell. From a young girl dealing with the loss of her mother to a woman trying to make a better life for herself, the stories offer a poignant look at the human experience. Wilkinson’s writing is both evocative and empathetic, drawing the reader into the world of her characters and making them feel their joys and sorrows.

The book has been praised for its powerful storytelling and its ability to capture the essence of life in the Appalachian region. Wilkinson’s portrayal of the struggles and triumphs of her characters resonates with readers, making “Degrees of Elevation” a compelling and impactful read.

Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia

“Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia” is a collection of essays that explores the complexities of life in modern Appalachia. Crystal Wilkinson, along with co-editors Julia Watts and Squire Babcock, delves into the cultural and social aspects of the region, shedding light on the forbidden and the taboo. The book presents a diverse range of perspectives, featuring the voices of both established and emerging Appalachian writers.

The essays in the book cover a wide variety of topics, from family and community to race and identity, offering a nuanced portrayal of the region and its people. Through personal narratives and reflections, the collection challenges stereotypes and offers a deeper understanding of contemporary Appalachia. The essays also address issues of marginalization and celebrate the resilience and creativity of the Appalachian people.

Overall, “Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean” provides an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of the forbidden and the untouched aspects of life in Appalachia. It offers a fresh perspective on the region, capturing the beauty and complexity of the Appalachian experience. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the cultural richness and diversity of this often misunderstood region.

Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets

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Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks

“Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks” by Crystal Wilkinson is a unique blend of memoir, history, and cookbook. The book delves into the author’s family history and the pivotal role that food and cooking have played in shaping their lives across five generations. Wilkinson invites readers to join her on a journey through time and taste, as she shares personal stories, family recipes, and reflections on the African American culinary tradition.

The book highlights the ways in which food connects individuals to their cultural roots and serves as a form of nourishment, both physical and spiritual. Through vivid storytelling, Wilkinson lovingly portrays the kitchens of her ancestors and the enduring presence of their “kitchen ghosts” – the spirits of those who once lived and cooked in those spaces. The recipes included in the book not only offer a delicious taste of traditional African American cuisine but also serve as a means of preserving and passing down family heritage.

With evocative prose and rich descriptions, Crystal Wilkinson celebrates the enduring legacy of her family’s culinary heritage while also shedding light on the complex history of African American food traditions. Through “Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts,” readers gain insight into the pivotal role of food in preserving cultural identity and fostering connections across generations. This book is a heartfelt homage to the power of food as a source of sustenance, history, and community.

Holler

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About Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson, a recent fellowship recipient of the Academy of American Poets, is a highly acclaimed author with a diverse body of work. She has written an award-winning culinary memoir, a collection of poems, and three works of fiction, earning her prestigious awards such as the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry, an O. Henry Prize, and a USA Artists Fellowship. Her writing has been recognized by esteemed institutions like the Yaddo Foundation and The Vermont Studio Center for the Arts, and her work has been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, and the Oxford American. In addition to her writing, Wilkinson also served as the Poet Laureate of Kentucky from 2021 to 2023 and is currently a Bush-Holbrook Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky, where she teaches creative writing.

Author Crystal Wilkinson

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Published at 7:26 - 17/01/2024
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