"More than eighty years ago, a young man from Kentucky borrowed $150, gathered up his Oliver typewriter, a trunk short on clothes and long on manuscript pages, and headed for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a master s degree. He was essentially a farmer, and liked what he had heard about a group of Vanderbilt writers who were more interested in the land than the growing industrialization of the South. The young man was Jesse Stuart, author of this book which began in 1932 at Vanderbilt as a paper for an English professor who asked his seminar students to turn in a maximum of eighteen typewritten pages. In the eleven days allotted for the assignment, Jesse crammed 322 pages from border to border with the story of his young life. Embarrassed to present his professor with a bulky memoir, Stuart made as small a package as he could of the manuscript, waited until everybody else in the class had turned in a paper, and then attempted to slip his work unobtrusively into the pile. Of the 322 pages about a simple farm boy and his family, Stuart s professor said, I have been teaching school for forty years and I have never read anything so...beautiful, tremendous and powerful. Stuart later added a final chapter and the manuscript was published in 1939 as Beyond Dark Hills the story of a rural boy defining his life as he made the passage from boyhood to manhood. The story is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s. Here, Stuart shares all his youthful anxieties as he prepares for life and then ventures forth on his own his first true love, his early school years, his adolescent desire to escape the confines of his parents loving but often smothering tutelage, his short-lived stint as a carnival worker and as an apprentice blacksmith, before entering college. Stuart freely shares his frustrations and successes as he examines the forces that mold and shape him into a world-famous author and educator. These ageless, universal experiences were told by a vibrant, precocious young man who became one of the most widely read American authors of the twentieth century. For the young reader who has yet to experience the transition from childhood to adulthood, this book can be an inspiring guide. For older readers, it may be a beautiful trip down memory lane. For old and young alike, this book provides inspiration, hope, desire, and courage to make each life count."--Amazon.