21. You Can’t Go Home Again
In 1940 Thomas Wolfe’s novel You Can’t Go Home Again was published posthumously. In the novel, the protagonist, a writer, publishes a novel in which several disparaging references to his hometown, Libya Hill, are made. The writer subsequently received threats and a hostile reception from his former friends and neighbors, who are aware the depiction was accurate but resent the writer’s making the outside world aware of the problems. While the state in which Libya Hill was located is never identified, Wolfe was from North Carolina, and the issues he referred to were those of Appalachia. The novel serves as an indication of the resentment which can occur when conditions are revealed which place one’s home under outside scrutiny, a resentment which is prevalent in some areas of Appalachia as a result of its past.