ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in the bruised, mined, and timbered hills of Appalachia in western Pennsylvania, Sidle Creek is a tender, truthful exploration of a small town and the people who live there, told by a brilliant new voice in fiction.
In Sidle Creek, McIlwain skillfully interrogates the myths and stereotypes of the mining, mill, and farming towns where she grew up. With stories that take place in diners and dive bars, town halls and bait shops, McIlwain’s writing explores themes of class, work, health, and trauma, and the unexpected human connections of small, close-knit communities. All the while, the wild beauty of the natural world weaves its way in, a source of the town’s livelihood – and vulnerable to natural resource exploitation. With an alchemic blend of taut prose, gorgeous imagery, and deep sensitivity for all of the living beings within its pages, Sidle Creek will sit snugly on bookshelves between Annie Proulx, Joy Williams, and Louise Erdrich.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jolene McIlwain’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in West Branch, Florida Review, Cincinnati Review, New Orleans Review, Northern Appalachia Review, and 2019’s Best Small Fictions Anthology. Her work was named finalist for 2018’s Best of the Net, Glimmer Train’s and River Styx’s contests, and semifinalist in Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize and two American Short Fiction‘s contests. She’s received a Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council grant, the Georgia Court Chautauqua faculty scholarship, and Tinker Mountain’s merit scholarship. She’s taught literary theory/analysis at Duquesne and Chatham Universities and she worked as a radiologic technologist before attending college (BS English, minor in sculpture, MA Literature). She was born, raised, and currently lives in a small town in the Appalachian plateau of Western Pennsylvania.