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Books & Brews, November 15, 2022 - Across The Blue Ridge Mountains

WMRA’s November 2022 Books & Brews will featured author M.S. Marangione discussing her book, Across The Blue Ridge Mountains, which is set in the early twentieth century in Elkton, Virginia during the social and political changes of industrialization, women’s equality, the Eugenics movement, and the removal of mountain families for the Shenandoah National Park.

Signed copies of, Across The Blue Ridge Mountains, are available online at Stone Soup Books.

Bingay, Matt - bingaymc

WMRA's Books & Brews is made possible thanks to our series sponsor, Gaines Group Architects. The Gaines Group has offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.

About Across The Blue Ridge Mountains:

Mary, the protagonist, makes a fateful decision to run off with a grifter to escape her abusive mother. The novel follows her exile from her family, abandonment in a West Virginia coal camp, and how she eventually flourishes with a family on Hightop Mountain in what is now Shenandoah National Park. Surrounded by nature, she heals from her traumas and discovers the power of female friendships. Empowered, she confronts the long arm of the federal government when over 1,000 families are told to abandon their homes and she fights to save her home and way of life. Even when the government burns down her home, her resilience and grace in the face of adversity become her beacon and ultimately deliver her from herself.

Maggie Marangione
Bingay, Matt - bingaymc
Maggie Marangione

About the Author:

M.S. Marangione fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains when in her early twenties and moved to Virginia from New York. One evening, when at the Alexandria Public Library in Northern Virginia, she came across a display on Shenandoah National Park with photos of the mountain families and books like Hollow Folk, the Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park, Recollections; The People of the Blue Ridge Remember. At that time, the mid-1980s, these were the only books published, and Hollow Folk was highly biased. Yet, it lit a fire in her to discover more about the people and families of the Shenandoah National Park.

When Marangione moved to the Shenandoah Valley, leaving her intelligence analyst career and becoming a teacher, she dived into the research and spent many hours locating the old homesites on the SNP. After presenting at many academic conferences on the subject, one winter’s morning, Mary’s voice emerged and Marangione started writing Across the Blue Ridge Mountains.

M.S. Marangione is a Professor of American and Appalachian Literature at Blue Ridge Community College. Her poetry has been published in Lumina magazine, Sagewoman, and the North Shore Woman’s Newspaper.