Lunch With Books in Wheeling Takes Look Beyond Coal Mining

Laura Leigh Morris

Often, society represents Appalachia (and West Virginia in particular) as a place that only cares about coal mining, ignoring the fact that this is only one aspect of a rich culture.

This talk will present a richer Appalachia — one that has so many other concerns. With a mixture of storytelling and reading from her new book “Jaws of Life,” Laura Leigh Morris will tell a different tale of the region, one that is rich with community — from families banding together to prisoners making the most of their situations to neighbors telling their stories as one. Morris will weave these stories at noon Tuesday at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library.

Morris lives in Greenville, S.C., where she teaches creative writing and literature at Furman University. Before that, she spent three years as the National Endowment for the Arts/Bureau of Prisons Artist-in-Residence at Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. She’s previously published short fiction in Appalachian Heritage, Louisville Review, Notre Dame Review and other journals.

Originally from north central West Virginia, all of her fiction is set there, the place she is most at home. From the landscape to the rich variety of people to the long history of resource extraction, the region serves as a rich backdrop to both her life and her stories. “Jaws of Life” is her first book. She is currently hard at work on her first novel.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch and complimentary beverages are provided.

Call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244 or visit the library’s website at for more information.


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