Emma Bell Miles, author of The Spirit of the Mountains (1905) and Our Southern Birds (1919), was one of the most competent non-fiction writers ever produced in the Southern Appalachians. Miles was also a better than average short story writer and poet. Her excellent drawings and paintings were used to illustrate her own books and graced the pages of numerous national publications. Her knowledge of the plant and animal life of her portion of the southern highlands was exceptional. She was a feminist in a world that hardly comprehended the concept. And she lived, at times, one of the most heartbreaking lives any writer has conducted — so much so that her early death at 39 came almost as a relief. Still, she was a writer, and her writing lives on.
"Capturing the beauty of common things" ... The Spirit of the Mountains, one of the most significant books ever written about and from within the southern mountains.
by George Ellison of Bryson City, N.C.