WORKING CLASS HERO: Appalachian native, storied balladeer and labor organizer Ella May Wiggins played a central role in the Loray Mill strike of 1929. Her life, legacy and untimely murder is examined in a new book authored by her great-granddaughter, Haw Creek Elementary teacher Kristina Horton. Image courtesy of Kristina Horton.

Working Class Hero: a Q&A with author Kristina Horton on “The Martyr of Loray Mill”

In July 2015, Kristina Horton — great-granddaughter of famed labor activist Ella May Wiggins — published Martyr of Loray Mill, a biography of her forebear. Xpress spoke with Horton ahead of her reading at Malaprop’s on Sunday, Jan. 17, to discuss Wiggins’ life, the meaning of her struggles and why it remains important to remember Ella May’s sacrifice.

FOOD CHAIN: When writing a memoir, “You can’t see the connections [between events in your life] until you’re reflecting on them retrospectively,” says musician and author Freda Love Smith. “The lines in my book are drawn by food and recipes. That’s the thing that connects the dots.”

Rock drummer Freda Love Smith pens a memoir with recipes

When Smith’s eldest son, Jonah, was in his last year of high school, she decided to give him a series of cooking lessons so he’d be self-sufficient when he left home. Those tutorials sparked the idea for a memoir that deftly stitches together family life, stories from her stints as the drummer in The Blake Babies, Antenna and The Mysteries of Life, and personal food-related memories.

EAT THAT: "My love of food comes through eating it," says author Simran Sethi. "I have gardens, I know how to cook, but what I really love is to eat. And I don't think I'm alone." Sethi's latest book, which includes interviews with several Ashevilleans, encourages everyday consumers to partake in food-supply chains that preserve biodiversity and terroir.

Simran Sethi revisits Asheville’s ‘grain-to-loaf’ wheat movement during book release events

Sethi’s book warns readers that a slow erosion of food biodiversity could affect beloved staples like coffee, chocolate, wine and bread. The author returns to Asheville, where she interviewed several members of local food-supply chains, for two tasting events during her book release tour.