'Geography is destiny," Leonard Shuler (Noah Wyle) says in a voice-over at the start of the somber Appalachian tragedy The World Made Straight. As he speaks, the camera takes us across an overgrown piece of mountain in Madison County, N.C., cut along one side by a two-lane road, the other by a dirt-colored river.
For Midwesterners, that means wide spaces; open vistas; possibility, says Leonard. For his neighbors, who live their lives in the overgrown fields, muddy streams, and rough back roads of Appalachia, the world is limited, stifling.
While you're at it, check out the review of Rash's latest in the NYT.
Ron Rash occupies an odd place in the pantheon of great American writers, and you’d better believe he belongs there. He gets rapturous reviews that don’t mean to condescend but almost always call him a Southern or Appalachian writer, and Mr. Rash has said he can hear the silent, dismissive “just” in those descriptions. He also baffles anyone who thinks that great talent ought to be accompanied by great ambition. Mr. Rash has planted himself at Western Carolina University and eluded the limelight that his work absolutely warrants.