Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Land Breakers
John Ehle


The Land Breakers is a fictional account set in the late eighteenth century that traces the story of the first white pioneers to settle in the Appalachian wilderness of the mountains of Western North Carolina. It was Ehle’s best known novel, and was the first he wrote in a cycle of seven historical sagas set in the Appalachians.

Known as the “father of Appalachian literature,” Ehle’s first novel was published in 1957. He wrote eleven novels in total and six books of non-fiction. John Ehle died in 2018.

Paperback, 368pp
New York Review of Books, 2014 (1964)
ISBN 9781590177631