Courtesy Photo Jesse Donaldson

Courtesy Photo

Jesse Donaldson


To mark the publication of "On Homesickness," Jesse Donaldson, author of The More They Disappear and native of Lexington, will read passages from his new book in all 120 counties in Kentucky.

In "On Homesickness"--a book organized according to Kentucky geography, with one passage for each of the commonwealth's 120 counties--Jesse Donaldson wonders if we can ever return to the places we've called home. One day he wakes up in Portland, Oregon, and asks his wife to uproot their life together and move to his native Kentucky. As he searches for the reason behind this sudden urge, Donaldson examines both the place where he was born and the life he's building.

His 120-county tour will begin on Sunday, October 22 in Powell County atop Natural Bridge and will continue through November 17, where he'll read at the Kentucky Book Fair. During his tour, he'll stop at bookstores including Brier Books, Roebling Books, Carmichael's, Karen's Book Barn, Poor Richard's, The Cat's Tale, Coffee Tree Books, Books-A-Million, and Barnes and Noble.

He'll also read at libraries, book clubs, coffee shops, historical sites, and road stops along the way, including the original KFC, an abandoned movie theater, a house party, a haunted bar, Fort Knox, cemeteries, distilleries, caves, mountaintops, ferries, log cabins and more.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Grayson County, Big Clifty, KY, 4:00 p.m. CST.

View his complete tour schedule:

CONTACT: Abby Freeland, sales and marketing director at West Virginia University Press, 304 916-7730,

Jesse Donaldson was raised in Lexington, Kentucky, attended Kenyon College and Oregon State University, and was a fellow at The Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the novel The More They Disappear. He now lives in Oregon with his wife and daughter. Learn more at

Praise for "On Homesickness":

"A wonderful prose poem, a beautiful meditation on homesickness and connection to place, and a celebration of Kentucky and that strange and undeniable connection that Kentuckians have to the state." -- Silas House, author of Clay's Quilt, The Coal Tattoo, and Eli the Good.

"Everyone who has left home, any home, anywhere, will want to read these, for a sobering assessment of why you left--along with all those who remained, for an equally rich assessment of the price of staying put." -- Fenton Johnson, author of The Man Who Loved Birds.

"A celebration of everything Kentucky. It lifts up the stories of those who settled and shaped it as an American state; it records the marks made by those who lived in and formed it before it was taken over." -- Foreword Reviews.

"In his ambitious and elegant long essay, Jesse Wilcox Donaldson, modern day voyager, passionately wrestles with the question of home: where is home, how is a home imagined, why do we leave, and how might we (do we want to?) return?" -- Lia Purpura, author of Rough Likeness.

Courtesy Photo

Jesse Donaldson

Courtesy Photo

Cover Art