Family Of Earth

Aug 23, 2016

Wilma Dykeman
Credit Jim Stokely

Wilma Dykeman published 18 books in her lifetime, including meditations on environmental conservation, race, birth control and chemically-altered food. She addressed many of these issues long before they were hot topics in public discourse.

In her first book, "The French Broad," (Rinehart, 1955) she became one of the first writers to argue that clean water could be an economic development tool.

After her death in 2006, her son discovered a typewritten manuscript in her home that turned out to be her real first book. It is a memoir of her formative years growing up in Buncombe County. The manuscript has now been published as "Family of Earth: A Southern Mountain Childhood" (UNC Press, 2016).

Host Frank Stasio speaks about Dykeman's life and legacy with her son, Jim Stokely, and her longtime friend Karen Cragnolin, executive director of RiverLink.