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Gail E. Haley Speaks to High Country Writers on Thursday, Nov. 10

High Country Writers welcomes celebrated author and illustrator Gail E. Haley to share from her latest book, Madwomen of Meriweather, her first historical novel for adults. The first HCW meeting in the month of November, Thursday the 10th, at 10 a.m. at the Watauga County Library is open to the public and guests are welcomed.dqewhoendo

Madwomen of Meriweather is the story of Blanche, a young mother in the 1920s, committed to an insane asylum by her husband, an abusive man who uses the law to take her inheritance. It is a personal story of the women she lives among and comes to love, but also of her journey to redemption and triumph over the system that made this abuse possible, and of the people who help her along the way.

Gail Haley came upon the seeds of this story by accident, in a walk through a field studded with numbered plaques set into the ground. Her curiosity led to research, and that research into the records of a North Carolina mental hospital led to commitment to share this story. This is a story for adults, but in Haley’s imagination Blanche draws, and “her” line drawings enliven and illustrate the story.

Gail Haley has enjoyed an illustrious career as a writer and illustrator of more than forty books for children; many are lauded for their social consciousness. She remains the only author/illustrator worldwide to have won both The Caldecott medal (U.S.) and the Kate Greenaway Medal (U.K.)  She was also awarded the Kadai Tosho (Japan) and the Kerlan Award for lifetime achievement. She served as Writer in Residence for fourteen years at Appalachian State University. She has conducted workshops and lectured across the U.S., in Canada, England, Australia and South Africa, yet she remains devoted to her native North Carolina mountains.

High Country Writers has been “energizing writers since 1995!” Regular meetings are at the Watauga County Public Library on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months from ten until noon and speakers’ presentations are co-sponsored with the Library. HCW members present writing skills workshops the first Thursday of the month, and have recently partnered with the Watauga County Arts Council in hosting these workshops. For more information and a current calendar, visit the website. Guests are welcome.