In Crum, a gritty coal town on the West Virginia-Kentucky border, the boys fight, swear, chase and sometimes catch girls. The adults are cramped in and clueless, hemmed in by the mountains. The weight of wonder, dejection, and even possibility loom over this tiny, suffocating town. This story is the tale of Jesse Stone, who doesn’t know where he’s going, but knows he is leaving, and whose rebellion against the people and the place of his childhood allows him to reject the comfort and familiarity of his home in search of his place in a larger world.
Lee Maynard was born and raised in the ridges and mountains of West Virginia, an upbringing that darkens and shapes much of his writing. His work has appeared in such publications as Columbia Review of Literature, Kestrel, Reader’s Digest, The Saturday Review, Rider Magazine, Washington Post, Country America, and The Christian Science Monitor. Maynard gained public and literary attention for his depiction of adolescent life in a rural mining town in his first novel Crum and received a Literary Fellowship in Fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts to complete Screaming with the Cannibals. Maynard serves as President and CEO of The Storehouse, an independently funded, nonprofit food pantry in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received the 2008 Turquoise Chalice Award in honor his dedication to this organization.