Only When They're Little

The Story of an Appalachian Family

By Kate Pickens Day, Edited by Nancy Carol Joyner

Edited and with an introduction by Nancy Carol Joyner

Only When They're Little

136 pp., 6 x 9, 23 drawings, 1 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3816-4
    Published: January 1985

Buy this Book

This title is not eligible for UNC Press promotional pricing.

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Distributed for Appalachian State University

A fictional account of an actual family whose Scotch-Irish ancestors immigrated to western North Carolina in the early nineteenth century, Only When They're Little is an authentic tale of Kate Pickens Day’s family life near Asheville, North Carolina. Published in 1985, this book combats the stereotype of the impoverished mountain people by presenting a new narrative. A middle class family living in a fictional town near Asheville named “Tarpley,” the book centers on an energetic and well educated woman named Cora Barker. Devoted to helping each of her family members excel in their chosen activity, this book is filled with drama, hardship, and the importance of being a good person.

About the Author

Kate Pickens Day was born on February 20, 1894, in Weaverville, North Carolina. Day graduated from Weaver College in 1913, and went on to teach in various public schools for five years before her marriage to Ben T. Day in Easley, North Carolina. Among her many accomplishments Day established Easley’s first Woman’s Club, wrote a weekly column in the local newspaper, and kept the books for her husband's business. After her husband's death, Day published a private genealogy of the Pickens family. The result of this extensive genealogy was the fictional book, Only When They're Little: The Story of an Appalachian Family. Day passed away at ninety years of age in 1984.
For more information about Kate Pickens Day, visit the Author Page.