John (Marsden) Ehle (Jr.) Introduction - Essay

Introduction

John (Marsden) Ehle (Jr.) 1925–

American novelist and nonfiction writer.

Primarily a regional writer, Ehle realistically depicts the people and dialects of the South, yet centers his works around common human problems. Ehle is known for his nonstereotyped portrayals of black characters, particularly in his first novel, Move Over, Mountain (1957). His nonfiction Free Men (1965) recreates a little-known civil rights incident that occurred in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the early 1960s. The work is significant for the insights it gives into the civil rights movement as a whole.

Ehle is at his best when writing about the mountain people around his hometown, Asheville, North Carolina. His recent novel, The Winter People (1982), which takes place in that setting during the depression, is praised for authenticity of characterization and dialogue. Most of his other fiction is set here or in similar areas, though in different historical periods.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 9-12, rev. ed.)