I’m Rosanne Griffeth of the Smokey Mountain Breakdown and I will be using my guest blogging appearance to blog about Appalachian women.
I’m a writer and a teller of tales. It’s what I do best. My plan is to post essays and stories between Feministe and my blog through the week, each dealing with an aspect of these amazingly strong women’s lives. While my stories are largely fiction, they are derived from oral traditions passed on to me from the women of Grassy Fork, Tennessee. So, if there is an essay on Feministe…there will be a story on the SMB that relates to the essay…or if there is a ficlet here, I’ll be running my mouth over there.
Perhaps my two favorite fictional representations of Appalachian women are Fairlight Spencer in Christy by Catherine Marshall and Ruby Thewes in Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. Both of these women ring 100% true to me, perhaps because I live 5 miles from the factual “Cutter’s Gap” and 20 miles from the factual Cold Mountain. My essays and stories will be drawn from my observations from this still remote area of Appalachia.
About me… I have a BA and an MFA in Theater. My emphasis was on costume design with a research interest in dramatic criticism, specifically feminist theater and women playwrights and women’s roles of the English Restoration period. I spent my early career working in “the vanities” of the film industry as a make-up artist and wig master throughout the US and the UK. I then moved on to costume design and from there to broadcast media at CNN.
My writing is heavily influenced by Marjorie Rawlings and Flannery O’Connor. I avoid Faulkner like the plague. I am, indeed, a Southern writer of the Dead Mule school in the sub-genre of Southern Gothic. I’m extremely interested in the intersection of beauty and the grotesque. I’m very interested in the psychology of faith. I’m also a contributor for Hillbilly Savants, Appalachian Writers and Dew on the Kudzu. If you are looking for political correctness, you will be sadly disappointed in me.
I now live on a mountaintop with my dogs and my goatherd. I consort with and write about Jesus’ Name Serpent Handlers, moonshiners, cock fighters, tent revival preachers, and sweet little old women who are waiting to die.
Welcome to my world and I hope you enjoy my visit on Feministe.
Tomorrow I will talk about the history of women in Appalachia and have a retelling of local story from the post-Civil War era.