The Path Was Steep

A Memoir of Appalachian Coal Camps During the Great Depression

Suzannee Pickett

Foreword by Norman McMillan

Title Details

Pages: 224

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Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 09/01/2013

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8261-0

List Price: $24.95

The Path Was Steep

A Memoir of Appalachian Coal Camps During the Great Depression

Suzannee Pickett

Foreword by Norman McMillan

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Sue Pickett was a coal miner’s daughter who became a coal miner’s wife and witnessed and lived through the turbulent years of the Great Depression and the sometimes violent struggles between labor unions and coal mine bosses throughout the Appalachian South—especially her native Alabama. The dramatic central episode in her account is a March 1934 standoff between striking miners and the mine owners.

Pickett’s story is peopled with memorable characters, including her irrepressible husband David and an almost Biblical cast of other family members; a roaring, fire-belching automobile nicknamed Thunderbolt; Irene, a fiercely proud ten-year-old mountain girl left homeless by the hard times; and many others. The memoir is a saga of determined working-class people making do and getting by, but equally of their love of family and land.

The Path Was Steep is a beautifully written memoir that calls up a different time, when family ties were wide, the community shared whatever they had, and married people stayed in love. It's a delight.

—Rapid River Arts & Culture

A lucid, informative memoir. I enjoyed the picture Pickett draws of daily life, regular family life, among these folk.

—Don Noble, The Tuscaloosa News

About the Author/Editor

SUZANNE PICKETT was first published when she was eleven years old on the children’s page of the Birmingham News. She later wrote short stories and articles that appeared in Weird Tales magazine and worked for many years as a reporter and columnist for the Centreville (AL) Press, which serialized five of her books.