- “Writing in the Smokehouse.” essay in The Confidence Woman. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1991
- Farlanburg Stories. New York: Norton, 1990.
- “The Druther Stage.” South Carolina Review (1992).
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- “Rabbit in the Foot.” Chattachoochee Review 10:3 (Spring 1990).
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- Tribune Books (Chicago), July 29, 1990.
- Journal and Constitution (Atlanta), July 15, 1990.
- Newsday, August 12, 1990.
- Charleston Gazette, August 26, 1990.
- New York Times Book Review, August 19, 1990.
- Lexington Herald-Leader, October 7, 1990.
- “Monster Fur.” Highlights for Children 44:2 (February 1989).
- “I Lived to Die.” Sunday Digest (27 August 1989).
- “Baby Luv.” Kennesaw Review 1:1 (Fall 1987).
- “Bypass.” Kennesaw Review 1:1 (Fall 1987).
- “A Heritage of Faith.” Vista 80:16 (20 April 1986).
- “The June Woman.” Seventeen (June 1985).
- “Nursing Home Life Satisfaction and Activity Participation: Effect of a Resident-Written Magazine.” Research on Aging: A Quarterly of Social Gerontology 2:1 (March 1980).
- Knoxville News Sentinel, June 17, 1979
Lisa Jan Koger was born in Elyria, Ohio, on September 6, 1953. Koger is the daughter of Eldred and Anne Vannoy Jones. The family moved to West Virginia where Koger was raised. Lisa Koger received a B.S.W. degree from West Virginia University, graduating magna cum laude, in 1974. While attending West Virginia University, Koger met her husband, Jerry L. Koger. They were married on December 28, 1974, and have two sons, Saxon Elias and Silas Winfield. Koger also received degrees from the University of Tennessee (M. S. ) in 1979 and the University of Iowa (M. F. A.) in 1989.
In 1990 Lisa Koger’s book of short stories called Farlanburg Stories was published by Norton. Koger moved to Starkville, Mississippi, where in 1990 she was a visiting lecturer in fiction and poetry writing. Lisa Koger, her husband, and their two children are currently living in Somerset, Kentucky, where Jerry Koger is an engineer in Kentucky, and Lisa Koger is a free-lance writer.
A Review of Farlanburg Stories
by Heather (SHS)
Farlanburg Stories consists of ten short stories which all take place in a little town called Farlanburg. Lisa Koger has a quite unique way of writing. She writes with such detail that the stories come to life. There are specifically two stories that stand out to me: “Baby Luv” and “Extended Learning.” “Baby Luv” is a rather interesting story. It is set in Farlanburg, as I mentioned earlier. This particular story is about a baby that is very sick throughout its whole life. The doctors can not seem to figure out what is wrong with the small child. There is only one thing the mother and father can do and that is to stay by their baby’s side and wait for the best or worst that could happen. This story is a rather chilling and sad story; it will send chills up your spine.
“Extended Learning” has a completely different feeling to it. This story is about a son that is going home to see his mother. The mother, Della, is very much excited about her son coming home, for this visit will give her a chance to visit with her grandson, T. Barry. T. Barry is the reason Della cancels her plans to teach Vacation Bible School. Della wants to be able to spend time with her grandson. Della becomes disappointed when T. Barry does not seem interested in outdoor activities. T. Barry’s parents are successful and highly educated adults; they are molding T.Barry into a child who is mindful of his own education and success. T. Barry’s mother, Marjorie, comments on T. Barry: “At home, he’d much rather be inside reading or fooling with his computer than outside with other kids playing in the street.”(7) Koger’s point is that T. Barry does not have a normal childhood and he lacks social interaction with other children. Della finally uses money to bribe T. Barry into going on a nature hike.. Della quickly realizes how empty and superficial her son’s and grandson’s lives are.
According to Stollger, Lisa Koger “writes fiction which gives a voice to a long-neglected group: the Appalachian middle class.” Koger’s stories use classic themes in which the characters may be funny or sympathetic. Her stories often deal with a sense of restriction or imprisonment which the characters feel and which has been imposed upon them by the American society. Unfulfilled dreams are dealt with by Koger sympathetically yet often humorously. I thoroughly enjoyed Farlanburg Stories.
- Koger, Lisa. Farlanburg Stories. New York. W.W. Norton and Company, 1990.
- Stollger, Kristina. ” Lisa Koger.” KYLIT-A site devoted to Kentucky Writers. Ed. University of Kentucky English Department. 30 September 1997. 2 December 2002. <http://www.english.eku.edu/SERVICES/KYLIT/KOGER.HTM>
- Amazon’s page for Farlanburg Stories with two reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and two others.