Novelist Wiley Cash will read excerpts from his work at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 3 at Lynchburg University. The reading, which will take place in the Hall Campus Center’s Memorial Ballroom, will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book signing. Admission is free and the public is invited.
Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of “A Land More Kind Than Home,” “This Dark Road to Mercy,” and “The Last Ballad.” Her latest novel, “When Ghosts Come Home,” will be released on September 21.
Cash’s visit is the first of two Thornton readings to be held this fall. Readings are sponsored by the Richard H. Thornton Endowment in English, which brings established novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, essayists, and other writers to campus.
Dr. Meghan McGuire, chair of Lynchburg’s English department, nominated Cash for the reading. She called him “an important contemporary Southern writer”. She added that as a native of Appalachia, she enjoys how her fiction “often brings to light overlooked narratives and historical injustices in the region.”
Before the reading, Cash will meet with students from Dr. Kelly Jacobson’s Creative Writing: Fiction course. Jacobson, an award-winning writer and new assistant English teacher at Lynchburg, redesigned the classroom.
As she puts it, her students will focus on “elements of contemporary literary genres within fiction, including young adult, thriller, romance, and science fiction, to name a few.” .
She thinks Cash’s class visit will do a lot to complement that. “Wiley Cash’s place at the intersection of literary fiction and genres such as historical fiction, Southern Gothic fiction and thriller makes him the perfect inspiration for our genre-flexing writers,” he said. she declared.
“They will also be able to ask Cash about the writing [and] hear an award-winning author talk about their use of the same literary techniques they will study. Additionally, Cash will even meet with a few of our fiction students to give them the rare opportunity to share their own work with him for feedback.
Cash’s essays and short stories have appeared in Garden & Gun, the Oxford American, and other publications, and there have been film and stage adaptations of his work. He has received numerous awards, including the Southern Book Prize, the Thomas Wolfe Book Prize, the Pat Conroy Legacy Award and many others.
Cash received a doctorate in American literature from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, a master’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. He has taught creative writing and literature at several colleges, including UNC-Asheville, where he is currently a writer-in-residence.
His class pass is another reason McGuire nominated Cash. “He’s an exceptional teacher,” she said. “I had Cash as an undergraduate teacher at UNC-Asheville, and although I was probably in the first class he ever taught – I think he’s only a few years older than me. – he was an incredibly charismatic and dedicated instructor.”
For more information about the Thornton Reading Series, contact Jer Bryant ’03, ’10 MA, chair Richard H. Thornton, at [email protected] or 434.544.8588.