Member Feature

WILLA Member Feature: Deborah Hicks

WILLA member, Deborah Hicks, has a newly published memoir, The Road Out, which recounts the story of my journey of discovery — teaching literature to Appalachian girls in Cincinnati.  The book is one of Stephen Kings “Best Books I Read in 2012.” King calls the story a “A wrenching account of one woman’s attempt to show a group of at risk pre-teen girls that literature can offer them a better life.”


For more information, to read a chapter, and to purchase the memoir visit The University California Press.

Deborah Hicks is currently a  a research scholar at Duke University and also the founding director of PAGE, a partnership focused on creating educational access and opportunity for Appalachian girls and young women. Hicks was raised in a small town in the North Carolina mountains.


Educated in public schools, she later earned her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has been a teacher and writer for over two decades, focusing on the lives of children in poor and working-class America. She lives in Chapel Hill and, for part of each year, in Spring Creek – a rural mountain community in Madison County, North Carolina.

Feature Image by: Colby Stopa

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