LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2023) — Luke Manget, author of “Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia," published by the University Press of Kentucky (UPK) has received the 2023 Weatherford Award for best nonfiction.
Presented annually by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association, the Weatherford Awards honor books in fiction, nonfiction and poetry categories that “best illuminate the challenges, personalities, and unique qualities of the Appalachian South.”
Manget’s debut book is the first of its kind to unearth the unique relationship between Appalachia and the global trade of medicinal plants. This release provides an extensive addition to the understanding of land use and gathering commons, medicine and capitalism, and the beginnings of the pharmaceutical industry.
“I am so honored to receive the Weatherford Award,” said Manget. “When I wrote ‘Ginseng Diggers,’ I only hoped it would one day be considered for the award. To win it and to be placed alongside some of the great books in Appalachian studies is something that I will always cherish.”
Finalists in the nonfiction category include “Making Our Future: Visionary Folklore & Everyday Culture in Appalachia” by Emily Hilliard; “Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place” by Neema Avashia; and “Something in These Hills: The Culture of Family Land in Southern Appalachia” by John M. Coggeshall.
Luke Manget is assistant professor of history at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. He is a contributor to “Southern Communities: Identity, Conflict, and Memory in the Nineteenth-Century American South,” edited by Steven E. Nash and Bruce E. Stewart.
Released by UPK in March 2022, “Ginseng Diggers” is also the recipient of the 2023 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award in the Consumer/Popular Category.
“We are thrilled for Luke Manget, and ‘Ginseng Diggers’ is such a deserving book for the Weatherford Award,” said Brooke Raby, sales and marketing director at UPK. “The University Press of Kentucky is devoted to publishing diverse works in Appalachian literature and amplifying the voices of writers in the region. Being honored with this award is gratifying confirmation of the importance of our mission.”
Winners in the other two Weatherford Award categories include Barbara Kingsolver, author of “Demon Copperhead,” for the fiction category, and Annie Woodford’s “Where You Come from is Gone,” for the poetry category.
UPK author Patricia Hudson was a finalist in the fiction category for her title, “Traces: A Novel.”
About University Press of Kentucky
The University Press of Kentucky is the statewide nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Serving all Kentucky state-sponsored institutions of higher learning as well as six private colleges and Kentucky’s two major historical societies, it was organized in 1969 as successor to the University of Kentucky Press. UPK is dedicated to the publication of academic books of high scholarly merit as well as significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.
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