Charles Frazier to keynote local ‘Authors for Literacy Event’

Here’s the press release from the Literacy Council of Buncombe County:

National Book Award Winner 
to Promote Literacy in Buncombe County
Charles Frazier featured at Authors for Literacy Event

Asheville, North Carolina – New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Award Charles Frazier will be joined by a local favorite, author Brian Lee Knopp, to keynote the Literacy Council’s Authors for Literacy Event on August 23, 2013.

Charles Frazier is best known for Cold Mountain, the 1997 historical novel that won the National Book Award for Fiction. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life. It was Charles Frazier’s first novel and a major bestseller, selling roughly three million copies worldwide. Cold Mountain was later adapted into an award-winning film of the same name. The real W. P. Inman was Frazier’s great-great-uncle, who lived near the real Cold Mountain, now within the Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County, North Carolina. Frazier’s captivating second and third novels, Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods, also take place in the Southern Appalachians and tell poetic stories of our region’s complex history.

Frazier will be joined in his presentation by the local, Malaprops-bestselling author Brian Lee Knopp. Knopp penned Mayhem in Mayberry, which chronicles the adventures of a small-town private investigator, and co-authored the collaborative novel Naked Came the Leaf Peeper. Both Knopp and Frazier have unique and intimate perspectives on Western North Carolina’s Southern Appalachian culture.

The evening will open with a cocktail hour silent auction, to include distinctive art and crafts, autographed and rare books, and priceless opportunities to enjoy excursions in Asheville and beyond. Following the cocktail hour, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner, Frazier and Knopp’s presentation, and a book signing.

Frazier is a longtime supporter of literacy. In Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier’s protagonist Will Cooper says, “The way I look at it, we have all been illiterate. Only a few of us stay that way, usually for the worst of reasons. Poverty in some cases. Law in others, at least back in the day of slavery.”  While this novel took place in the mid-1800s, the connection between illiteracy and poverty remains today. Nearly 20% of adults in Buncombe County do not have a high school diploma/GED, and one in 10 adults cannot read at or above a basic level. These individuals are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who have received a high school diploma.

The Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction provides guests with the opportunity to meet this very important community need—all proceeds benefit the Literacy Council of Buncombe County whose mission is to increase comprehensive literacy and English language skills through specialized instruction by trained tutors. Literacy Council students comprise a diverse group in terms of educational background, socio-economic status, age, and learning styles. Some are challenged by learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, and others are learning the English language for the first time. Regardless of the reason why these individuals are non-readers, their most common goals are to improve their job prospects and help their children in school. The Literacy Council matches students with highly trained volunteer tutors who work with students to reach their literacy goals.

The Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction will be held at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel on Fri., Aug. 23 from 6-9:30 p.m. Tickets are available to the general public beginning May 15 for $75.00. Call Michelle Robinson at 828-254-3442 x206 or visit for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets are also available through our featured bookseller, Malaprops.

The Authors for Literacy Dinner and Silent Auction fundraiser is made possible through the generosity of platinum sponsor WLOS/WMYA and the commitment of the event chair, Gene Adams.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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