Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia

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Another Appalachia:  Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place
 Neema Avashia
 WVU Press 
 March 2022
 ISBN: 978-1-952271-42-7
 168 pages
 PB & eB: $19.99
 order here 

Neema Avashia’s Another Appalachia feels like sitting down on the porch with one of your neighbors and drinking a cup of coffee or sweet tea; warm, familiar, and there is a lesson in every story. Avashia shares perspectives from her upbringing near Charleston, West Virginia as the child of Indian immigrants in a majority white area and highlights topics such as faith, community, and queerness. Avashia crafts a vessel big enough to hold the messy multiplicity of her experience. She holds onto and holds accountable the complexities of the many worlds and communities of which she is a part. This is something we all can relate to. Simply put, Another Appalachia is fiercely tender. 

Julie Rae Powers received their MFA in Photography from The Ohio State University and their BFA in Photography from James Madison University. Their photographic and written work has focused on family history, coal, Appalachia, the queer “female” gaze, the butch body, and queer chosen families. Their work is collected by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan; they have been awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2016 and 2020 and were selected in Critical Mass’ Top 200 for 2021. Julie Rae is a part of Y’all Means All: Queering Appalachian Voices edited by Z. Zane McNeil. Soft Lightning Studio, an inclusive photo book publisher created and ran by Julie Rae published The Home We Know by Ben Willis, which was featured in the Washington Post and is collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Watson Library. Additionally, they are the author and editor of a forthcoming collection of Queer Appalachian photographers. For their day job they work as an Instructional Designer.