Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Margaret Lazarus Dean

Committee Members

Michael Knight, Thomas Haddox, Maria Stehle


The Light From Pisgah is a novel tracing the fragile relationship between Bonnie Crawford, ill-tempered and gifted with second sight, and her headstrong daughter Amanda in the weeks following the disappearance and assumed death of Bonnie’s son Jessop. In the aftermath of a winter storm that brings Bonnie visions of her son’s death, Bonnie and Amanda are visited by a seventeen-year-old girl from Denver, arriving on their doorstep pregnant and claiming Jessop as the father. What follows resurrects unresolved grief and explores the emotional and physical pressures of the absent on the present, the frayed edges and quiet transmission between the living and the dead, and the land that holds them. This novel is an intimate portrait of a community in flux, concerned as much with human relationships as it is the place they have learned to call home.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 15, 2029

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