Appalachian writer works on next novel
Gretchen Moran Laskas
October 3, 2012 ·
Appalachian Writer Gretchen Moran Laskas’ first two novels, The Miner’s Daughter and The Midwife’s Tale both take place in West Virginia and she is currently working on a new book which is also based in the state and focuses on one of her obsessions as a writer, women’s health.
Laskas said The
Midwife’s Tale is about the physicality of having a baby and the new book
will be a follow-up of sorts looking at women’s’ mental health.
“And I would like to explore a story about what happens to a
women whose life falls apart after the baby is born,” Laskas said.
Laskas is interested in the history of the Weston
in Weston, W.Va.
and the new book has prompted her to research mental health issues in the
“For instance when they were doing the lobotomies with
Walter Freeman, Mr. Lobotomy, the doctor, West Virginia
had the highest per capita number of lobotomies done in the entire country,”
Laskas said. “That’s something that a lot of people may not know.
She hopes to finish writing the book in about a year.
Laskas is an eighth generation West Virginian who moved out
of state when she was about five. Despite growing up in Pennsylvania
and moving to several states as an adult, Laskas never really left West
Virginia behind, which is why she uses the state as a
setting for her writing.
She was recently Writer in Residence for the Appalachian Heritage Festival at Shepherd University
in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Click on the link to hear more from Gretchen Moran Laskas.