It’s been a number of years since Peter Turchi lived in Asheville — he’s now based in Houston — but Western North Carolina still finds its way into his writing. “I tend to write more about places that I’ve left,” says the former director of Warren Wilson College’s MFA program. “The stories that I’m writing […]
Author, teacher and creativity coach Nina Hart has just released her first prose poetry collection, Somewhere In a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere. The book is equal parts engaging and absurdist, stretching the mind of the reader to connect emotionally with the likes of a waitress who lives inside an air conditioner (à la […]
When Fiona Ritchie (the presenter of NPR’s long-running program, “The Thistle and the Shamrock”) first came to North Carolina, “people heard my accent and they’d say, ‘Oh, I’m Scots-Irish,’” she remembers. “I was confused. I thought they meant one parent was Scottish and one was Irish. It took me a wee while to realize this […]
Six writers participated in a panel on Friday night as the final installment in the three-part Within the Lines: Creative Perspectives on Wilderness. The exhibit and monthly panel discussions, held at HandMade in America’s offices, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Friday’s discussion seemed especially poignant as the recent election put a number […]
Southern writing evokes a certain set of expectations, from Flannery O’Connor’s “Christ-haunted” prose to Gail Godwin’s glimpses into shifting society. But when talking about North Carolina writers, there’s one theme that returns again and again: place. From Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek to Ron Rash’s Serena and Vicki Lane’s A Day […]
A natural storyteller, Ron Rash has held audiences spellbound at many events across Western North Carolina — and around the country — over the past two decades. Not only do his works of poetry and prose speak to readers in the Carolinas, Hollywood has tapped two of his novels for big-screen adaptations. Serena (starring Jennifer […]
Beth Revis was having trouble getting her novel published. That may seem like an odd reversal for the author, who will be at Malaprop’s on Monday, Nov. 3, with a slate of other YA authors for the Compelling Reads Tour. She had just concluded her New York Times best-selling Across the Universe series. Her new […]
If someone was making a movie of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard’s life, Jared Leto would fall all over himself to land the lead role: An Asheville-born artist and writer (Dillard grew up on Sunset Mountain) leaves North Carolina for the bright lights of 1970s Los Angeles. He immerses himself in the excitement and excess of that […]
Lots of things are spooky — abandoned summer camps, lonely playgrounds, creaky attics and dusty old barns. But local author Randy Russell may have picked the creepiest locale of all for his newest book: hospitals. The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South collects tales from “TB sanatoriums, spas, dental clinics, treatment […]
New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb, known for her Appalachian ballad novels, is based in Virginia. But she’s got ties to Western North Carolina — a theatrical version of her novel, Ghost Riders was staged at Parkway Playhouse in June. McCrumb returns to Asheville on Sunday, Oct. 26 with her new book, Nora Bonesteel’s […]
Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a self-help book about “invisible mothers” and an active lifestyle accessory called GoKnuckles™.
With her trace of a foothills accent and her cup of herbal tea, Beth Revis comes across as a down-to-earth person. A casual observer might not pick her out as the creator of a bestselling science fiction series. She is, though. Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy takes readers from a starship a couple of centuries […]
Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to crack open a spooky read. But W. Scott Poole, author of Monsters in America, brings us no mere piece of werewolf or zombie fiction. His new work, Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror is a biography. It examines the story of actress, artist […]
September 21 marks the birthday of Alexander Key, who wrote or illustrated more than a dozen books for children and young readers in a career that ran from the 1940s to the ‘70s. While Key was born in Maryland and spent time in Chicago, Florida and Alabama (where he died in 1979), for most of […]
If it sounds massive that’s because, when it comes to book arts, creativity incubator Asheville BookWorks is a really big deal. The West Asheville-based center hosts BookOpolis — three days of exhibits, demonstrations, talks and workshops. An opening reception, held on Friday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m., showcases books by local and international artists and […]
Photos by Alicia Funderburk, taken at Robbins’ Malaprop’s Bookstore reading and book signing on Saturday, Sept. 13. According to author Tom Robbins, he didn’t hit his stride as a novelist until Jitterbug Perfume. It was his fourth novel, published in 1984; Robbins was 52. Not that there’s a right age to hit one’s stride as […]
Unlike larger book festivals, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival deliberately sets out to create a “festival of ideas.” As anyone who has attended a previous festival knows (the gathering is now in its ninth year), events are informal, and are more akin to conversations than presentations.
As Stephen Colbert said, “a young adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read.” So no need to feel guilty about indulging in Isla and the Happily Ever After, the just-published YA romance by local author Stephanie Perkins. The summer before her senior year in high school, Isla (pronounced eye-la) bumps into her […]
Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress will highlight notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.
Local author (and former Xpress staffer) Robert H. Rufa recently published his novel, Maybelline Takes a Powder: A Rod Axell-Janine Zimmer Caper, with co-writer Leila M. Willett. The book is available in an e-Pub version and a Kindle version. Rufa offered Xpress readers a sample chapter: # # # Chapter 1 Rod It was a […]
If cat art, cat videos or “What kind of a cat person are you” quizzes seem just a little bit hokey, what about feline-themed poetry? Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell has authored more than 30 books, including fiction and nonfiction. But for his latest collection, he’s taken a page from T.S. Eliot’s Old […]