Wiley CashWILSON, N.C. – Willis N. Hackney Library, on the campus of Barton College, will host its ninth annual Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Students, along with faculty, staff, and other interested guests, are invited to see what is new and improved inside the library for the 2014-2015 academic year. A book signing featuring Wiley Cash, acclaimed writer and author of the best-selling “A Land More Kind Than Home,” will take place between 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Cash’s novel was chosen as Barton’s 2014 FYS summer reader. Books by the author will be available for purchase at the signing. This event, co-sponsored by the Barton College Friends of Hackney Library, Friends of the Wilson County Public Library, and BB&T, is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

North Carolina native Wiley 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.

Guests at this year’s Open House can register to win a number of door prizes, including free copies of “A Land More Kind Than Home,” Kindle e-readers, Amazon and Barton College Bookstore gift certificates, and much more. Refreshments will also be served. For additional information, please contact George Loveland, director of Hackney Library, at (252) 399-6501 or gwloveland@barton.edu.

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