In the mid-1970s, Nancy L. Abrams, a young photojournalist from the Midwest, plunges into life as a small-town reporter in West Virginia. She befriends the hippies on the commune one mountaintop over, rents a cabin in beautiful Salt Lick Valley, and falls in love with a local boy, wrestling to balance the demands of a job and a personal life. She learns how to survive in Appalachia—how to heat with coal and wood, how to chop kindling, plant a garden, and preserve produce.
The Climb from Salt Lickis the remarkable memoir of an outsider coming into adulthood. It is the story of a unique place and its people from the perspective of a woman who documents its burdens and its beauty, using words and pictures to tell the rich stories of those around her.
Nancy L. Abrams is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she trained as a photojournalist. She has worked as a photographer, writer, and editor at The Preston County News and the Dominion Post, where she edited the Sunday magazine Panorama. She holds an MFA in creative writing-nonfiction from The New School and has been a professional writer and photographer for four decades.