Rash’s poetic prose infuses new novel

book“How near at hand it was

If they had eyes to see it.”

—G.M. Hopkins

Let’s go surfin’ now …

bookIn a surfing genre memoir complete with a SurferMagazine, globe-trotting storyline, all set to a 1960s rock & roll soundtrack, and with genuine literary flair, William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days is a one-of-a-kind, stand-alone achievement in terms of surf lore. Mirroring the tradition of the expression “a writer’s writer,” Finnegan is “a surfer’s surfer.” So, all you surf bums, big wave riders and belly-board wannabees, this is the book for you.

Harper Lee’s ‘Watchman’ hits the mark

bookSo, Scout (Jean Louise) comes back home to Maycomb — where “everyone is either kin or almost kin”— at age 26 and after being “away” and living in New York City for several years. Sixteen years have gone by since we last heard from her in the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Maycomb she comes home to isn’t the same Maycomb we know from the 1960 novel.

Fate and fortune sing in new novel

bookSpartanburg poet and nonfiction writer John Lane has broken out of his comfort zone and journeyed into the netherworld of the novel and Appalachian noir. Joining company with Ron Rash, Charles Frazier, Wayne Caldwell, Wiley Cash, Pam Duncan and David Joy, Lane has maybe even raised the bar a bit by dovetailing the upstate South Carolina textile mill culture with that of the Western North Carolina farming communities. Talk about conflict! In Fate Moreland’s Widow, conflict crosses state lines and cultures and embodies the tensions and inequities in characters redolent of the haves and the have-nots and of labor unions vs. the business elite on both sides of clearly drawn lines.

Painted Horses is one for the ages

bookWhen people ask me what I’ve been doing this fall, I tell them I’ve been on a reading jag — reading new novels hot off the press. What I’ve found is that there have been a lot of very good books that have come out in the last year, including some by some very talented new writers who are just coming on the scene. 

The Jane Goodall of sea turtles

bookAs I write this, I am wondering if I should disqualify myself from writing a review about a book written by someone I know. But in this case I must write, and trying to be objective, let you know that something special has been born among us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Alongside a rising tide of great books written by the likes of Charles Frazier, Ron Rash, Wayne Caldwell, Wiley Cash … there’s a new kid on the block. His name is Will Harlan and he lives in Barnardsville. 

To bee or not to be

bookWith its title Colony Collapse Disorder taken from a recent mysterious collapse of honeybee populations in North America, Keith Flynn’s new collection of poems, while being entirely prescient in terms of the current social-political-economic situation here in the U.S., is anything but only local or nationalistic.

Getting the 'word' out

art frIt’s a sunny, crisp afternoon in the high hills of Tuckasegee and Thomas Rain Crowe throws another log into the woodstove.

Unwinding into a nearby seat, the renowned Western North Carolina poet is all smiles. As owner/founder of New Native Press, his entire catalogue of printed works — including his own writings and those of others he has published — is currently on display in a glass case at the Jackson County Public Library.

The stuff of dreams: Important 20th century poet discovered in new book

bookAs the poet Yvan Goll lay in a hospital in Paris dying of leukemia, a continuous line of some of the most celebrated artists and writers of the first half of the 20th century formed to donate blood to keep Goll alive while he struggled to finish his final volume of poems Dreamweed. With the blood of poets and painters coursing through his veins, he completed his masterwork and quickly died.

New writer launches a promising literary career

Since the publication of Wiley Cash’s debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home earlier this year, I have been listening to the buzz of conversation about this “remarkable new book” written by a Western North Carolina native. The book seems to be on everyone’s lips. Finally unable to resist my own curiosity, I bought a copy so I could see for myself what all the fuss was about. It only took the first few pages until I was hooked.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.