Stories I Lived to Tell

An Appalachian Memoir

By Gary Carden, Edited by Neal Hutcheson

Stories I Lived to Tell

152 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 7 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8157-3
    Published: August 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8156-6
    Published: August 2024

Paperback Available August 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Stories I Lived to Tell is more than a selection of stories from revered mountain storyteller Gary Carden—it is a testimony of a distinguished culture, sense of place, and spirit of community that connects the Appalachian past to its present. This memoir-in-stories invites the reader to move beyond stereotypes to experience the scenes, characters, and community of the author's childhood and formative years, intersecting with the regional folktales and mythologies that fired his imagination. It is not only a fascinating window into an Appalachian community in the middle of the twentieth century but also an insightful reminder of who that community is today, in spite of the external changes.

Featuring an introduction by documentarian Neal Hutcheson, this book is a moving, often funny, collection by a talented storyteller who cuts through cliché and sanctimony with his powerful words.

About the Authors

Gary Carden is the author of several books and numerous plays and the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state's highest civilian honor. He lives near Sylva, North Carolina.
For more information about Gary Carden, visit the Author Page.

Neal Hutcheson is an Emmy Award–winning documentary filmmaker and the author of The Moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information about Neal Hutcheson, visit the Author Page.


"Gary Carden is the last of the lantern keepers and with him goes the flame. Stories I Lived to Tell makes me thankful for the immortality of the written word."—David Joy, author of Those We Thought We Knew

“Gary Carden is a national treasure.”—Lee Smith, author of Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

"A complex exploration of Appalachia, but the true subject of this book is Gary Carden. His voice, his vulnerable confessions, his many ups and downs, these all reveal a well-considered and well-lived life."—Jeremy B. Jones, author of Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland