Ron Rash at the Earl Scruggs Center Friday, Dec. 5

From a press release:

Ron Rash at the Earl Scruggs Center Friday, Dec. 5

Join us for this program with acclaimed author Ron Rash at the Earl Scruggs Center Friday, December 5, 2014, 5:00 – 6:30 pm.
103 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby, NC
Free Program: Registration Recommended
704-487-6233 or 
(Exhibit Admission is not included but may be purchased)

Fireside Books and the Earl Scruggs Center have partnered to bring local acclaimed author, Ron Rash, to town to celebrate his latest book, Something Rich and Strange, Selected Stories. Join Ron Rash at the Earl Scruggs Center, located in Uptown Shelby. Books will be available for sale onsite by Fireside Books.


Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to four other prizewinning novels, including One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and five collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

This program is being held during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas when Uptown Shelby celebrates Christmas on the Square every Friday night. To celebrate that and the inaugural year, the Earl Scruggs Center is offering extended hours from 4 pm – 7 pm on these Friday nights at a discounted rate of $5 per person. Come enjoy the beautiful Uptown, the Earl Scruggs Center and hear Ron Rash.

Thirty-four of the finest short stories from Ron Rash, critically acclaimed
author of Serena, The Cove, and the 2010 Frank O’Connor International
Short Story Award winner Burning Bright

“This selection of 34 stories from four collections signals the growing prominence of a fine author… These stories describe a hardscrabble landscape streaked with violence that, in Rash’s telling, is graphic but never gratuitous… These superbly suspenseful stories evoke a world of hurt, but what makes them so deeply satisfying is that they enlarge our capacity for empathy.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Like his great predecessors, Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and especially Eudora Welty, Ron Rash’s stories are rooted in the American South, and from that place and those people, he wrests marvelously rich and compelling vignettes of life as he has seen and imagined in it.” —Edna O’Brien, international award-winning author of Saints and Sinners

Acclaimed equally for his penetrating novels and his haunting and lyrical short stories, Ron Rash is recognized as one of the most significant American writers at work today. Now, to celebrate his lasting literary contributions, thirty-four of Rash’s most memorable stories have been brought together in SOMETHING RICH AND STRANGE, a magnificent volume culled from four previous collections (Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth). With settings that range from Civil War-era Confederate territory to contemporary small towns and farmsteads, these stories demonstrate Rash’s ability to evoke the heart and soul of the rugged Appalachian landscape and its people—men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. The themes explored in these collected works are universal and enduring, exhibiting the stark beauty and unexpected tenderness that defines Rash’s masterful body of work.

In the opening story “Hard Times,” the despair and poverty of depression-era Appalachia is made devastatingly apparent when a farm couple is distressed over the missing eggs from their henhouse. Rash’s penchant for unforgiving violence features in “The Trusty,” his first story to appear in The New Yorker, in which a prisoner sent to fetch water for his chain gang tries to sweet-talk a farmer’s young wife into helping him escape, only to find that she is just as trapped as he is. Distrust of interlopers is highlighted in “Burning Bright,” when an unknown arsonist starts fires in the Smoky Mountains, and a small town woman’s outsider husband becomes the key suspect. And in the title story, a diver is haunted by the eerie gaze of the drowning girl whose body he is sent to free from deep below the surface of the river.

Blending historical and contemporary settings in a patchwork of suspense and myth, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, tenderness and violence, and man and nature. Filled with suspense, hope, and heartbreak, and told in language that flows like “shimmering, liquid poetry” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) SOMETHING RICH AND STRANGE is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.

For more information on this or other Earl Scruggs Center programs, visit our website,, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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