Set in the run-up and aftermath of the 2016 election, Pop brings the Canard County trilogy to a close as Dawn, the young narrator of Gipe’s first novel, Trampoline, is now the mother of the seventeen-year-old Nicolette. Whereas Dawn has become increasingly agoraphobic as the internet persuades her the world is descending into chaos, Nicolette narrates an Appalachia where young people start businesses rooted in local food culture and work to build community. But Nicolette’s precocious rise in the regional culinary scene is interrupted when her policeman cousin violently assaults her, setting in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy the family—and Canard County in the process. In the tradition of Gipe’s first two novels, Pop’s Appalachia is full of clear-eyed, caring, creative, and complicated people struggling to hang on to what is best about their world and reject what is not. Their adventures reflect an Appalachia that is overrun by outside commentators looking for stories to tell about the region—sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but almost always oversimplified.
Meet the Author
Robert Gipe won the 2015 Weatherford Award for outstanding Appalachian novel for his first novel Trampoline. His second novel, Weedeater, was published in 2018 and his third, Pop, was published in 2021. All three novels are published by Ohio University Press. In 2021, the trilogy was awarded the Judy Gaines Young Book Award. From 1997 to 2018, Gipe directed the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Appalachian Program in Harlan. He is a producer of the Higher Ground community performance series. From 1989 to 1995, Gipe worked at Appalshop, an arts center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Gipe resides in Harlan County, Kentucky. Gipe grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee.