Wiley CashWILSON, N.C. – Barton College will welcome Wiley Cash as the featured author for this year’s Joyce T. Boone Southern Authors Series Lecture. The event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall on the campus of Barton College. The lecture is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

A North Carolina native, Cash is the author of two novels, “A Land More Kind Than Home” (2012) and “This Dark Road to Mercy” (2014). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 2000, and a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2001. In 2003, he moved to Lafayette, La., where he received a Ph.D. in English and studied fiction writing under Ernest J. Gaines.

Homesick for the mountains of North Carolina while living in the Deep South, Cash turned a Milwaukee storefront church tragedy into his first novel, in which a similar tragedy unfolds in a small mountain town north of Asheville. The New York Times named “A Land More Kind Than Home” an Editor’s Choice and a Notable Book of 2012, and the novel appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list as well as Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 lists. The novel won the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliances’ (SIBA) fiction prize, the debut novel prize from the United Kingdom’s Crime Writers’ Association, the Maine Readers’ Choice Award, the Appalachian Writers’ Association’s Book of the Year, the Crooks Corner Book Prize, and the Western North Carolina Historical Society’s Thomas Wolfe Prize. In addition, it was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the American Booksellers’ Association’s Debut Fiction Prize.

Cash wrote his second novel, also set in North Carolina, while living in West Virginia, where he taught American Literature and Creative Writing at a small liberal arts college before joining the faculty in the low-residency MFA Program at Southern New Hampshire University. “This Dark Road to Mercy” became a national bestseller and was named an Indie Next Pick, a SIBA Okra Pick, an O Magazine Top Ten Title, a LibraryReads selection, and an Amazon Book of the Month. It has been optioned for film and will be available in paperback in October 2014. Cash and his wife now call Wilmington home.

The Joyce T. Boone Endowed Lectureship for Southern Authors was established in memory of the late Joyce Thornton Boone by her husband, Doug Boone. This endowed lectureship supports special programs featuring visiting Southern writers.

Boone graduated from Atlantic Christian College with degrees in business administration (1978) and nursing (1988). An enthusiastic advocate for students and alumni of Barton College, Boone believed in the mission of the small, private, liberal arts college. She served on both the Barton College Board of Trustees and the Barton Alumni Council. Boone was president-elect of the Barton College Alumni Council when she passed away in October 2004.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Rebecca Godwin, director of The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center, at (252) 399-6364 or rlgodwin@barton.edu.

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