Best selling author to headline PTC literary fest

Thu, 07/26/2007 - 4:20pm
By: The Citizen

New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb is slated to headline the first-ever Peachtree City Literary Festival to be held July 27-29.

McCrumb is best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, set in the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains. Her novels include “She Walks These Hills” and “The Rosewood Casket,” which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness; “The Ballad of Frankie Silver,” the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina; “The Songcatcher,” a genealogy in music; and “Ghost Riders,” an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians. A film of her novel “The Rosewood Casket” is currently in production, directed by British Academy Award winner Roberto Schaeffer.

McCrumb’s latest novel, “Once Around the Track” (June 2007), is her second book set in NASCAR. It chronicles the adventures of an all-woman NASCAR team who hires a "pretty" male driver. The novel examines the mysterious chemistry that bonds fan to driver- an attraction independent of victories, and any other quantifiable form of excellence, in many cases. Skinny boys in firesuits look like warrior angels, and one tends to expect them to be kinder, wiser, braver, etc. than they could possibly be. The book is dedicated to her friend Ward Burton, who drives the #4 car in NASCAR for Morgan-McClure.

Her first novel set in NASCAR, “St. Dale,” is the story of a group of ordinary people who go on a pilgrimage in honor of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, and find a miracle. This “Canterbury Tales” in a NASCAR setting, published by Kensington Books of New York, won a 2006 Library of Virginia Literary Award as well as the AWA Book of the Year Award.

Her honors include: the 2003 Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature given by the East Tennessee Historical Society; AWA Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award; Chaffin Award for Achievement in Southern Literature; Plattner Award for Short Story; and AWA’s Best Appalachian Novel.

McCrumb, whose books have been translated into more than ten languages, has lectured on her work at Oxford University, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Bonn, Germany, and at universities and libraries throughout the country. She will present a reading and sign books on Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall in Peachtree City.

Also featured at the Literary Festival will be Dr. James Tabor, archeologist and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Tabor, who was a featured expert on the Discovery Channel’s “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” documentary, will give a lecture titled, “Has the Jesus Family Tomb Been Found?” Last year he wowed an audience of over 200 in Peachtree City with the presentation of his book, “The Jesus Dynasty,” now available in paperback with a new epilogue on the famed Talpiot tomb. Tabor’s lecture will be held on July 28 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Also included in weekend festivities will be the kick-off event, a poetry open mic night, on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m. in the Floy Farr Room at the Peachtree City Library. On Saturday morning, assistant professor at Georgia State University and author of “Yellow Jack,” Josh Russell will lecture on the craft of writing fiction as well as lead a workshop for aspiring writers, also at the library. Local authors will have a chance to showcase their work at the library in a panel discussion to be held on Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m.

The Friends of the Library will hold a used book sale during the same weekend, proceeds of which will go towards library programs. The library is currently accepting book donations for the sale. A drop-off bin is now located in the lower level lobby at the library. Donors are asked to use the lower level entrance to leave their used books.

For more information, contact the Peachtree City Library at 770-631-2520.

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