Dawn Jewell is fifteen. She is restless, curious, and wry. She listens to Black Flag, speaks her mind, and joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining almost in spite of herself. “I write by ear,” says Robert Gipe, and Dawn’s voice is the essence of his debut novel,Trampoline. She lives in eastern Kentucky with her addict mother and her Mamaw, whose stance against the coal companies has earned her the community’s ire. Jagged and honest,Trampolineis a powerful portrait of a place struggling with the economic and social forces that threaten and define it. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings, it is above all about its heroine, Dawn, as she decides whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or ruled by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life.
Robert Gipelives and works in Harlan County, Kentucky.Popis his third Ohio University Press novel. His first,Trampoline, won the 2016 Weatherford Award for Appalachian novel of the year. His second novel,Weedeater, was a Weatherford finalist. For the past thirty years he has worked in arts-based organizing and is the founding coproducer of the Higher Ground community performance series. He has contributed to numerous journals and anthologies, is a playwright, and is currently a script consultant on a forthcoming television show based on Beth Macy’sDopesick. Author photo by Amelia Kirby.