Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal, a hiking journey through the history of the lost communities of Shenandoah National Park, is forthcoming in Fall 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press.
Sue Eisenfeld doesn’t just hike for vistas, to reach summits, or even for exercise; she hikes to find signs of the dead and the vanquished. In this first-person travel journey, she tells the story of her discovery, as a hiker in the wilderness, of the relics and memories a few thousand Blue Ridge Mountain families left behind when the government kicked them off their land to create Shenandoah National Park. With historic maps and clues from an old-timer backcountry sleuth, she and her husband hike, backpack, and bushwhack in the hills and the hollows of this beloved but misbegotten place, searching for stories.
Photo credit: Steve Strawn.
Sue writes about her passions: history, hiking, travel, nature, culture, relationships, and life. She has also written about food, health, and medicine. Her work has been listed among the notable essays of the year in The Best American Essays (2009, 2010, 2013) and appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, The Gettysburg Review,Potomac Review, Health Affairs, Hunger Mountain, Virginia Living, Blue Ridge Country, and other publications. She is a three-time Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the recipient of the 2010 Goldfarb Family Fellowship there. She teaches creative nonfiction at the Johns Hopkins University M.A. in Writing Program and The Writers Center.