Gurney Norman

Gurney Norman

Gurney Norman (born July 22, 1937) is an American novelist, documentarian, and professor.


Gurney Norman was born in Grundy, Virginia in 1937. He grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia living with a variety of family in several towns, but primarily in Allais, Kentucky. While a sophomore at Stuart Robinson Settlement School in Letcher County, Kentucky, his older brother was killed in an automobile accident, which deeply affected his life. Norman was graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in journalism. In 1960, he received a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. After Stanford, he spent two years in the U.S. Army. Norman returned to eastern Kentucky in 1963 after completing "Divine Right's Trip" and became a writer for the "Hazard Herald" until 1965, when he returned to California. Norman was one of the founders of the Briarpatch Network in 1974, with Richard Raymond and Michael Phillips. In 1980, he became writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky. He lives in Kentucky.


"Divine Right's Trip" follows a group of hippie stoners who leave California for eastern Kentucky, where they settle on a farm raising rabbits. The novel was originally serialized in "The Last Whole Earth Catalog".


As writer

* 1987 - "Time on the River" - Travelogue along the Kentucky River.
* 1989 - "From This Valley" - Travelogue along the Big Sandy River.
* 1991 - "Wilderness Road" - Travelogue of the trail through Cumberland Gap.
* 2000 - "The Wilgus Stories" - Made for television.

As director

*1980 - "Secrets of a Willing Wife"


* "Book One From Crazy Quilt: A Novel in Progress" (Monterey, KY: Larkspur Press), 1990.
* "Divine Right's Trip: A Folk-Tale" (New York: Dial Press), 1972. ISBN 0-917788-42-7
* "Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories" (Frankfort, KY: Gnomon Press), 1977. ISBN 0-917788-07-9Nonfiction
* "An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature" with Danny Miller and Sharon Hatfield (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press), 2005. ISBN 0-8214-1589-1
* "Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region" with Dwight B. Billings and Katherine Ledford (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky), 1999. ISBN 0-8131-2099-3


* Holbrook, Chris. "Gurney Norman Remembers His 'Kinfolks'" "Lexington Herald-Leader", April 26, 1992.

* Ward, William S. "A Literary History of Kentucky" (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press), 1988. ISBN 0-87049-578-X

External links

* [ Faculty page from the University of Kentucky]
* [ Gurney Norman] , by Rhonda Stricklett
* [ Gurney Norman biography] , from Appalachian Books


* [ Gurney Norman interview]

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