Novelist Wiley Cash to Headline “Celebrating Madison County”

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Best-selling novelist Wiley Cash will headline “Celebrating Madison County,” featuring literature, music and photography, presented on October 25-26 at UNC Asheville.

Cash will offer a solo reading, and other well-known area writers, photographers and performers will share their creative responses to the cultural heritage and rugged physical beauty of Madison County during this free, two-day event.

Cash will read from his best-selling novel, "A Land More Kind than Home" (William Morrow, 2012), which is set in Madison County, from 1-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, in the Mission Health Mountain View Room. Cash’s story is told in first-person Madison County voices including those of an old woman raised by her aunt in an isolated mountain farm, a sheriff trying to reconcile traditional and legal ways of setting disputes, and a young boy caught between his skeptical father and his mother who is in the thrall of a charismatic preacher. This powerful first novel is on the “short list” of finalists for the prestigious 2013 PEN Literary Award. Cash, a UNC Asheville alumnus, is the Goodman Endowed Visiting Artist.

“Celebrating Madison County” also will feature two sessions on Friday, Oct. 25, both in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall, with these featured participants:

1-2:30 p.m.:

  • Terry Roberts is author of the historical novel, "A Short Time to Stay Here" (Ingalls Publishing Group, 2012), which tells the story of German nationals held at an internment camp in Hot Springs during World War I. Roberts, executive director of the National Paideia Center, is a UNC Asheville graduate.
  • Tim Barnwell is known for photography documenting life in rural Western North Carolina. His books include "Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia" (W.W. Norton & Company, 2009) "On Earth’s Furrowed Brow: The Appalachian Farm in Photographs" (W.W. Norton & Company, 2007) and "The Face of Appalachia: Portraits from the Mountain Farm" (W.W. Norton & Company, 2003). He is a UNC Asheville alumnus.
  • Sheila Kay Adams is a traditional musician and balladeer, storyteller, novelist and recipient of the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Brown-Hudson Award. She is also a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, a prestigious national distinction as only nine fellowships are given each year.

3-4:30 p.m.:

  • Pamela Duncan is a popular writer whose novels, "Moon Women" (Delacorte, 2001), "Plant Life" (Delacorte, 2003) and "The Big Beautiful" (Dial Press, 2007), draw from the landscape of North Carolina.
  • Laura Boosinger is an old-time and mountain swing musician known for her performances throughout the region and her recordings with David Holt and the Lightning Bolts, Josh Goforth, Wayne Erbsen and George Shuffler. Boosinger is executive director of the Madison County Arts Council.
  • Rose McLarney is author of the poetry collection, "The Always Broken Plates of Mountains" (Four Way Books, 2012), and winner of the 2013 George Garrett New Writing Award for Poetry. She is assistant professor of English at Oklahoma State University.

“Celebrating Madison County” is free and open to the public and is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Literature and Language Department, the university’s Literature Club, and the Goodman Endowment.

For more information, call 828.251.6411.