Doubly Erased

LGBTQ Literature in Appalachia

By Allison E. Carey

Subjects: Literary Criticism, Queer Studies, American Literature, Lesbian / Gay Studies
Series: SUNY series in Queer Politics and Cultures
Hardcover : 9781438493558, 278 pages, July 2023
Paperback : 9781438493565, 278 pages, January 2024

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


1. The Elders of LGBTQ Appalachian Literature

2. The Conversation Begins: Landmark Texts and Trailblazing Authors

3. Visibility and Seeing: Photography in LGBTQ Appalachian Literature

4. Silences and Storytelling in LGBTQ Appalachian Literature

5. HomePlaceBody: The Pleasures and Perils of the Physical World

6. Flight and Food: Transcending Life and Death in LGBTQ Appalachian Literature

Appendix: doris davenport Videos

A wide-ranging overview of contemporary literary works by LGBTQ Appalachians with a focus on LGBTQ themes and characters.


The first book of its kind, Doubly Erased is a comprehensive study of the rich tradition of LGBTQ themes and characters in Appalachian novels, memoirs, poetry, drama, and film. Appalachia has long been seen as homogenous and tradition-bound. Allison E. Carey helps to remedy this misunderstanding, arguing that it has led to LGBTQ Appalachian authors being doubly erased—routinely overlooked both within United States literature because they are Appalachian and within the Appalachian literary tradition because they are queer. In exploring motifs of visibility, silence, storytelling, home, food, and more, Carey brings the full significance and range of LGBTQ Appalachian literature into relief. Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home are considered alongside works by Maggie Anderson, doris davenport, Jeff Mann, Lisa Alther, Julia Watts, Fenton Johnson, and Silas House, as well as filmmaker Beth Stephens. While primarily focused on 1976 to 2020, Doubly Erased also looks back to the region's literary "elders," thoughtfully mapping the place of sexuality in the lives and works of George Scarbrough, Byron Herbert Reece, and James Still.

Allison E. Carey is Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at Marshall University.


"[Carey] offers a scholarly but accessible analysis of a relatively unexplored subject, and one might very well expect this book to encourage the development of an emergent specialization within literary and queer studies." — CHOICE

"Doubly Erased contributes significantly to Appalachian literary scholarship by providing close, well-framed analyses of LGBTQ authors' works. Carey clearly articulates the complexity of the region and its inhabitants, eschewing essentialization of the people and reductive caricatures. I foresee this book having a profound positive impact not only for the Appalachian LGBTQ community but also for the Appalachian community writ large, however one defines that." — Theresa L. Burriss, coeditor of Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region