What critics are saying:

Abrams "writes eloquently about the landscape, capturing a feeling of awe and belonging often overlooked by other literature about the state." ... "It is sort of a reverse Hillbilly Elegy."

Susan Maguire, Booklist

"It’s a great corrective to ugly caricatures of Appalachia."

Dmitry Samarov, Chicago Reader

"There are lessons here for a new generation struggling to re-invent local journalism in West Virginia and elsewhere. "

Bill Case, 100 Days in Appalachia


The Climb from Salt Lick: A Memoir of Appalachia

In the mid-1970s, Nancy L. Abrams, a young photojournalist from the Midwest, plunges into life as a small-town journalist 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 Lick is 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.