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High Country Writers To Host Acclaimed Author, Wiley Cash, September 14

Award-winning author Wiley Cash will be the featured guest speaker at the upcoming September 14 meeting of High Country Writers. 
Photo by Mallory Cash.

By Sherrie Norris

For anyone who loves Southern fiction at its best — and usually with a twist — or novels with a little love, blood, mystery and vengeance thrown in for good measure, you need to plan to meet Wiley Cash when he comes to Boone. 

As an award-winning, New York Times Bestselling author, Cash will be the featured guest speaker at the 10 a.m. meeting of High Country Writers on Thursday, Sept. 14.at Watauga County Library. 

Cash is sure to draw a crowd during this rare local appearance. Many of us have been mesmerized by his writing, dreading, but anxious at the same time, to reach the end of his riveting books.

Author of four novels that leave his readers desperate for more of the same, Cash is also the founder of an online creative community known as This Is Working, which offers “an immersive monthly experience for writers and storytellers of all levels.” 

Numerous of his short stories and essays have appeared in various publications, including Our State Magazine, as well as The Oxford American, and Garden & Gun. Some of his works have been adapted for the stage and film. 

Cash’s national bestseller and most recent work, When Ghosts Come Home, was published in September 2021, and won the Southern Book Prize, was an Indie Next Pick and among Amazon’s top 20 books of the year. 

Earlier, In 2017, his novel, The Last Ballad, was named an American Library Association Book of the Year and a Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017. That novel received the Southern Book Prize, the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, the Weatherford Award, and the Bloodroot Mountain Prize. 

His second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was a national bestseller and received the Crime Writers Association’s Novel of the Year in the United Kingdom. It was a finalist for both the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Southern Book Prize. 

Cash’s first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, won the Thomas Wolfe Book Prize, the Maine Reader’s Choice Award, the Southern Book Prize, the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, the Appalachian Writers Association’s Book of the Year, the Crime Writers Association’s Debut of the Year in the UK. The book was a finalist for the American Bookseller Association’s Debut of the Year and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. 

Among many commendations, Cash has received the Pat Conroy Legacy Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Alliance, the Mary Frances Hobson Prize from Chowan University, and the Appalachian Heritage Prize from Shepherd University.

Cash is a North Carolina native, who with his wife Mallory (an amazing photographer) and daughters, Early and Juniper, still makes his home in the state where most of his work is inspired; he teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville; he has also taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Bethany College and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and has been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. 

He received his Ph.D. in American Literature from UL-Lafayette, his masters in English from UNC-Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in literature from UNC-Asheville.

Perhaps New York Times Editor/Book Reviewer, Amy Rowland, said it best: “Cash is a good storyteller, capturing the cadence of Southern speech and the complexity of modest lives with thoughtful intelligence.” 

The public is invited to join High Country writers for this unique opportunity.