EKU English Professor Publishes Book “Arranging Stories”

Published on October 17, 2022

By Sarah Bashford

Fascinated by southern literature and women writers, Heather Fox spent a decade researching four prominent writers from the late 19th through early 20th century. This research led to her recently published book, “Arranging Stories: Framing Social Commentary in Short Story Collections by Southern Women Writers.” 

Fox joined Eastern Kentucky University in 2018. Currently, she is an associate professor of English and coordinator of English Teaching Programs. “Arranging Stories” marks her first published book.

“Arranging Stories” focuses on Kate Chopin, Ellen Glasgow, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Katherine Anne Porter. These women writers published a volume of stories in strategic ways to construct a particular framework.

Fox said that people often don’t think about “the way things are ordered,” but that it “makes a difference in how we understand and digest that information.” This realization fueled her research and desire to share it with others through her book. 

“I think that's something really important that we should think about,” Fox continued. “Also, how texts, when they're read together, instead of individually outside of a collection's frame, can have a different meaning.”

Fox examined correspondence, manuscripts, periodicals and first editions of the aforementioned authors by researching archival collections, reading theoretical approaches and doing close readings of the original collections to compile her book. 

Fox is already thinking about her next book. She said, “It'll take me another 10 years to do the next one. I'm really interested in relationships between how 19th-century women writers were writing about history and how 21st-century women writers are writing about history in young adult historical fiction. It’s a really interesting trajectory.”

“Arranging Stories: Framing Social Commentary in Short Collections by Southern Women Writers” was published by the University Press of Mississippi in July of 2022. “Arranging Stories” is available to purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.