WV Writers
eNEWS - April 6, 2006

'Lost Mountain' by Eric Reece
Takes On Mountaintop Mining

Here is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction that exposes how radical strip mining is destroying one of America's most precious natural resources and the communities that depend on it. GO TO

He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and teaches English and writing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. His work appears in Harper's and the Oxford American, among other places.

Excerpts from Editorial Reviews:

>From Penquin Group:
Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain, aptly named "Lost Mountain." A native Kentuckian and the son of a coal worker, Reece makes it clear that strip mining is neither a local concern nor a radical contention, but a mainstream crisis that encompasses every hot-button issue-from corporate hubris and government neglect, to class conflict and poisoned groundwater, to irrevocable species extinction and landscape destruction. Published excerpts of Lost Mountain are already driving headlines and legislative action in Kentucky.

In Erik Reece, the mountains of Kentucky have found an eloquent and powerful spokesman in the tradition of Edward Abbey, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Henry David Thoreau. Like the work of those writers before him, Lost Mountain will stand as a landmark defense of a natural treasure-and a core part of our national identity-on the verge of extinction, and as the introduction of a mighty new literary voice.

>From Publishers Weekly
Reece's up-close assessment of a rapacious coal industry is a searing indictment of how a country's energy lust is ravaging the hills and hollows of Appalachia. The first-time author chronicles how, in one year, from October 2003 to September 2004, strip miners sheared away the top of Kentucky's aptly named Lost Mountain. The Kentucky-born author, who canoed clean Appalachian rivers as a youth, has written an impassioned account of a business rife with industrial greed, devious corporate ownership and unenforced environmental laws. It's also a heartrending account of the rural residents whose lives are being ruined by strip-mining's relentless, almost unfettered, encroachment. (Feb.)

>From Booklist
Reece's excoriating expose of the coal industry's pernicious rape of the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Once the site of the oldest and most ecologically diverse forest in the country, now this stretch of Appalachian wilderness has gone from being a verdant North American rain forest to a bleak and dismal lunar landscape, thanks to the severely destructive strip-mining process known as "mountaintop removal."  The tale of Kentucky's mutilated environment is one that, like the mountain, has been lost.

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