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David Selby

A Better Place

A Better Place by David SelbyA 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.

In 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.

Unfortunately, A Better Place is no longer in print.