NC Literary Hall of Fame



It's All Relative: Tales from the Tree edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham

Stone Ivy Press
$16.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-983471738
October, 2015
Anthology: Poetry/Prose
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"If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers' work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at It's All Relative: Tales from the Tree. You might also be skeptical about the them: it's so broad. Yet there's a shadowy, down-to-earth and at times magical quality to the tellings that makes the collection striking and significant.

"The entries range from 1-5 pages in length, which works well with tales of the bizarre or with poetic revelations."
—Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen-Times

Pundits have a penchant for comparing families to food. Bestselling author, columnist, and Pulitzer-Prize winner Anna Quindlen proclaims: “In the family sandwich the older people and the younger ones can recognize one another as the bread. Those in the middle are, for a time, the meat.” Journalist and social activist Letty Collin Pogrebin says: “If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but inseparable—each segment distinct.” An old Chinese proverb cautions: “Govern a family as you would cook a fish—very gently.” Another puts it more succinctly: “Family are like fudge—mostly sweet with a few nuts.”

In this smorgasbord of family stories, essays, and poems, you can nibble on a nugget, munch on a morsel, or gobble down a whole meal.

Fifty contributors dig deep into the theme of family tree and give the good, the bad, the ugly, the strange, the odd, the quirky, the macabre, the supernatural, even the extraordinary: from kudos to cuckoldry, from subterfuge to emergency rooms, from black sheep to spider webs, from funny uncles to breaking crazy, from common threads to pigs' heads, from apparitions and angels to reincarnation and second sight, It's All Relative moves between family noir to family light.

Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham, both native western North Carolinians living in Asheville, have edited three previous anthologies of women writers in WNC: Christmas Presence, Clothes Lines, Women's Spaces Women's Places. Between them, they have written and published twenty-one books of textbooks, fiction, and poetry.

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