Kentucky in Fiction--an Annotated Bibliography (1951 to 1980)




1951 TO 1980


Mary Donna Foley


Russell County High School

Russell Springs, Kentucky


This paper is dedicated to my grandfathers Pankie Ratliff (April 10, 1894 - March 26, 1980) and Kennred Augusta Massey (September 21, 1907 - January 1978).

© 1981, Mary Donna Foley


Good intentions and failure to produce are more likely to plague bibliographers and would-be bibliographers than scholars in most other fields. In 1951, when THE KENTUCKY NOVEL was completed, the compilers had definite plans for supplements, never produced. The diligence and dedication of Mary Donna Foley has made up for this dereliction.

Bibliographies can be exciting, particularly when they deal with a subject as attractive as the Kentucky tradition. The annotations, whether original or judiciously chosen from publishers' notes, will make most any Kentuckian yearn for a year or so of leisure to read many or most of these titles. Even if one can't find the time to read the books in the original texts, it is a special treat to read the annotations offered here.

Lawrence S. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Classics
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky


This paper is intended to be a supplement to Lawrence S. and Algernon D. Thompson's THE KENTUCKY NOVEL (1953). This present work includes full-length fiction in which a major portion of the action takes place in Kentucky. The books have copyright dates from 1951 to 1980. The terminal date for inclusion in THE KENTUCKY NOVEL is September 1951, so I have included only those 1951 copyrighted books that did not appear in the Thompsons' book. Short story collections have not been included.

The titles are divided into two groups: adult and juvenile fiction. Young adult titles fall between these two levels and are usually put in the adult section. For each title I have given the author, complete title, place of publication, publisher, copyright date, and pagination when available. In the case of titles for which I was unable to secure a copy to view, the information may be incomplete. Illustrations are not noted. If I used a paperback edition for information I have noted this fact with "pbk." after the pagination.

Some books generally thought of as Kentucky fiction have not been included because the majority of the action did not take place in Kentucky. According to the author of GUNPOWDER FOR BOONESBOROUGH, only about one-third of his book takes place in Kentucky. Many books deal with migrating to the state and only the last chapter or last few chapters take place in Kentucky. An example is Gene Markey's THIS FAR PARADISE, a novel of the Kensal family traveling through the Virginia mountains to the Ohio River and down river to Kentucky in 1794.

Readers aware of titles which should be added to the bibliography are encouraged to contact the author.



Mary Donna Ratliff Foley, a high school librarian, is originally from Pikeville, Kentucky. She has been employed by the Russell County Board of Education as a librarian since 1974. Mrs. Foley graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 1974 with a B.A. degree in library science. She completed a Master of Science in Library Science at the University of Kentucky in August 1981. She is currently working on a Rank I program in secondary education at Western Kentucky University.


HOURS for October 23, 2020