Tom Kromer, Appalachia’s Forgotten Modernist

Stefan Schöberlein at the LARB:

WHEN STEVE BARNHILL moved into his dead uncle’s old room, he decided it was time to finally read the man’s mysterious book. It was the mid-1970s, in his aunt’s house in Huntington, a small West Virginia city on the border of Ohio and Kentucky. He recalls the book sitting on a shelf, a slim hardcover volume dressed in taupe cloth and stamped with bold red letters: Waiting for Nothing.

Steve was impressed — as though, in a strange way, it was the first time his uncle had ever spoken to him. “I personally never had any conversation with him, even though he lived with my aunt,” Steve recalls. “He was a recluse.” Only a few memories survive. “I would just see him in front of the TV or see him walking over from the room he was in to the bathroom.”

more here.