Local author Wiley Cash to receive Thomas Wolfe Memorial literary award

Press Release

WNC Historical Association

The Western North Carolina Historical Association is pleased to announce that writer, Wiley Cash, is the 2013 winner of its Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Wiley Cash is being honored for his book A Place More Kind than Home published by William Morrow. The book has already achieved status as a New York Times best seller and has received several other major literary awards.

Each year since 1955, the WNC Historical Association has presented the Thomas Wolfe Award to an outstanding work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or play that promotes the history and culture of Western North Carolina or to a publication authored by a resident of the region. Cash grew up in the North Carolina Mountains and received an M.A. from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

This prestigious award carries a $1500 prize. The prize is provided annually through the generosity of Mr. Michael Sartisky, Ph.D. through his family foundation, the Ruth and Jacques Sartisky Foundation and Mrs. JoAnn Lipinsky Edwinn. The recipient’s name is engraved on a silver loving cup that is permanently housed by the WNC Historical Association at the Smith McDowell House.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award was begun in 1955 by Louis Lipinsky to promote and encourage young writers in our region, and to recognize books that use Western North Carolina as their central theme. Previous recipients of the Award include notable authors such as Wilma Dykeman (the first recipient), John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Wayne Caldwell, and Ron Rash. The 2012 award winner was Kathryn Newfont for her non-fiction book entitled, Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina.

Richard Graham, selection committee member, said, “The Association was faced with a difficult choice. This year a large number of outstanding works were submitted as candidates for the 2013 award. However, Wiley Cash’s powerful first novel, set in a fictional Marshall, NC, won the acclaim of the entire committee.” On his website Cash says, “I hope my love for this region is evident in A Place More Kind than Home’s portrayal of Western North Carolina’s people, culture, and religious faith.” Cash achieves that hope with masterful literary skill.

The presentation of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to Wiley Cash will be held on Saturday, February 1,2014, in the Magnolia Building next door to the historic Fernihurst House on the AB Tech campus. The reception and presentation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Mr. Cash will be present to accept his award. The reception is free and open to the public. However, reservations are encouraged and will be accepted by email to smh@wnchistory.org or by telephone to 828.253.9231.


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