A Better Place
A Better Place is a loving tribute to West Virginia. The
book is part memoir and part social commentary by native West Virginian
David Selby, who has had a long, distinguished acting career. He is
probably best known for his roles as Quentin Collins on the TV series
Dark Shadows and Richard Channing on Falcon Crest.
A Better Place, Selby re-visits the West Virginia of his youth
and examines the lasting effects of an Appalachian upbringing. He voices
concerns about current problems facing West Virginia, concerns he feels
compelled to face in the wake of 9-11.
Some chapters are touchingly devoted to family members, such as “The
Carpenter,” his hard-working father’s story, and “A West Virginia
Doctor,” about his father-in-law who founded a hospital in Mullens. He
writes with reverence about his mother who grew up in a coal camp, but
upon leaving it, never looked back.
Selby discusses the state’s absentee landlords, pollution, and chronic
appearance at the bottom of most national indicators of health and
well-being. He compares out-of-work Latinos in L.A. to unemployed coal
miners in West Virginia. Selby examines the pride and prejudice of
mountaineers. He quotes his favorite authors as he tries to make sense
of a chaotic world but looks toward a hopeful future for West Virginia.
A heartfelt and genuine look at West Virginia and its people.
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