New Reading

I have a reading coming up in the next week as part of the Flood Gallery’s ongoing reading series if you happen to be in the Asheville area. April 25th from 7:30 til whenever. It’s being held at the lovely Cafe Posana on the main square. Here’s the official release:

Three local authors, all with recently published work: Charles Dodd White, Cynn Chadwick and Vicki Lane.

Cynn Chadwick, whose fifth book, As The Table Turns has been released this spring with Napping Porch Press, teaches creative writing at UNC-Asheville. She notes on her blog that: “writing fiction is mostly a hindsight way to rectifying wrongs, serving justice or vengeance, fulfilling dreams, explaining mysteries, revealing ……histories, and happily ever-aftering an otherwise sad or tragic ending. .” She is the author of Bywater Books publications Angels and Manners and the Cat Rising Series. In addition, Napping Porch Press has released all of her novels and a continuing series of Shorts as ebooks on Kindle and Nook.

Vicki Lane is the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series as well as her current standalone The Day of Small Things, all of which are set in the present and past of a mythical county not far from Asheville. Vicki grew up in Florida but in 1975, seduced by The Whole Earth Catalog and Mother Earth News, she moved with her husband to a mountain farm in Madison County where she learned how to milk cows and raise tobacco. In 2000, she remembered that she had been an English major and decided to try her hand at a mystery novel. Her first novel (Signs in the Blood) was published in 2005; her fourth (In a Dark Season) was nominated for an Anthony, one of mystery’s most prestigious awards; and her sixth (Under the Skin) will be out this October. For more about Vicki and her books, see http://vickilanemysteries.com/

Charles Dodd White, who read for us previously when his novel Lambs of Men was released, is co-editor of the contemporary Appalachian short story anthology DEGREES OF ELEVATION. He currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina where he teaches English at South College. His work is language-driven Appalachian fiction that balances realistic understatement with moments of lyricism, achieving a balance of power and nuance that have earned comparisons with Ron Rash, Charles Frazier and William Gay.

Books I read in February

I’ve fallen behind in regular posting over here since trying to pull together the new PLUMB blogazine. But, here we go with books read in February and my brief impression of them.

THE SPORTSWRITER by Richard Ford

I’ve great enjoyed previous novels I’ve read by Ford. His Wildlife is greatly underappreciated, and his story collection Rock Springs is fine work, but I found The  Sportswriter a distinct challenge. Several readers have pointed out the similarity to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer in terms of its narrative approach, and in large part I agree. However, with a commitment, this book yields greater riches than Percy’s (though that’s no slight intended to another favorite writer. This book is wise and great and worth effort bit of effort extended.

THE OPTIMIST’S DAUGHTER by Eudora Welty

A slim book with moments of striking imagery that tells of a woman returning to her Mississippi home to deal with the death of her father in a small town. Slim and sharp, this  is an excellent introduction to Welty’s sharply observed domestic tales.

DRAG THE DARKNESS DOWN by Matt Baker

A picaresque that turns on its head to become a dark psychological study of family trama and its lasting effects. A great small press book that should receive a wider audience.

BILLIE GIRL by Vickie Weaver

A Southern Gothic bildungsroman that features a decidedly unsympathetic yet compelling protagonist as she stumbles through a bleak but fully realzed tragic narrative.

CATCHING FIRE by Wyatt Wyatt

A real gem by a writer in the vein of Harry Crews. The burden of perfection, sexual excess  and the futility of shame are explored in highly entertaining fashion as Wyatt tells of Norman Foreman, aka “The Pigman”.