Hackney Library’s throwing a party, and you’re invited! On Tuesday, September 9, we will be holding our 9th annual Open House, “Celebrating Wiley Cash’s ‘A Land More Kind Than Home,’” in the library from 4 to 6 pm, complete with refreshments, giveaways, door prizes, and best of all, a book signing with New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash. Read on for more details!
Author Wiley Cash
For the past few years, Hackney Library’s annual Open House has taken its theme from the current Freshman Year Seminar (FYS) Summer Reader, and this year will be no exception. We will kick off this year’s event with a book signing from 4 to 5 pm featuring novelist Cash, whose debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, has been chosen as Barton’s 2014 FYS Summer Reader. Concurrent Open House activities will be going on from 4 to 6 pm during the event.
The Open House and Book Signing are both free of charge and open to the general public as well as to the Barton community. In addition to the book signing, Open House activities from 4 to 6 pm will include:
- free Land-themed t-shirt giveaways
- lots more freebies
- online surveys
- tours of the Library and the Office of Student Success
- free refreshments, and much more
In addition to the Open House activities above, two door prize drawings (one for students and another for everyone else) will be held at 5:30 pm. Door prizes in both drawings will include one each of the following:
- a Kindle e-reader
- a free copy of FYS Summer Reader A Land More Kind Than Home
- a $50 Barton Bookstore gift certificate
- a $100 Amazon gift card
- Barton-themed items, and more
All door prize recipients must be present at 5:30 pm during the drawings in order to be eligible to win.
Cash’s debut novel is both the Barton FYS Summer Reader for 2014 and this year’s “Wilson Reads” selection by the Wilson County Public Library.
Not only has Cash’s award-winning novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, been chosen as the freshman Summer Reader this year by Barton—to be used by its FYS classes as a springboard for discussion in a variety of ways during the Fall 2014 semester—but it’s also been designated by the Wilson County Public Library as its “Wilson Reads” selection for this year.
In light of this collaborative selection, the book signing/reception portion of the Open House is being sponsored jointly by the Friends of Hackney Library and the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library. Copies of Cash’s works will be available for purchase at the book signing in addition to the two copies being given away as door prizes.
A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Wiley Cash holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly, and his essays on Southern literature have appeared in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina Review, and other publications.
Cash currently teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in Wilmington, NC.
On his web site, Cash summarizes A Land More Kind Than Home in the following way:
Families are supposed to shield children from the horrors of the world, but one Sunday nine-year-old Jess hall watches as his autistic brother is called into a little church in the mountains of North Carolina. What happens next forces Jess to question everything he once believed. Clem Barefield, the local sheriff, arrives to find a group of charismatic believers who are unwilling to utter a word about the things Jess has seen. At the center of the mystery is Carson Chambliss, a snake handling ex-convict turned preacher whose past is just as mysterious as the power he claims to possess.
Library Journal’s review of the book calls it “[a]s lyrical, beautiful, and uncomplicated as the classic ballads of Appalachia. . . a tragic story of misplaced faith and love gone wrong, set in the mountains of North Carolina” (March 1, 2012). Kirkus Reviews echoes this sentiment, describing the novel as “lean and spare as a mountain ballad. . . . An evocative work about love, fate, and redemption.” Publishers Weekly characterizes the book as “compelling, with an elegant structure and a keen eye for detail, matched with compassionate attention to character. The languid atmosphere seduces, and Cash’s fine first effort pulls the reader into a shadowy, tormented world where wolves prowl in the guise of sheep” (January 16, 2012).
Booklist describes Cash as “a graceful and promising writer,” one whose “story and characters will linger in readers’ memories” (March 15, 2012). Likewise, Warren J. Carson notes that“[w]ithin the first few pages of Wiley Cash’s debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home, the reader knows without a doubt that he is in the hands of a master storyteller” (Appalachian Heritage, Spring 2013, p. 83). Carson wraps up his review of Land by calling it “a veritable tour de force . . . . Cash combines a rare talent with superb training and has delivered what I expect will be the first of many great works” (p. 84). Cash’s second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released in January 2014 to great acclaim, bearing out these predictions.
So please remember to mark September 9th on your calendar as a “don’t miss” opportunity: At this fun-filled Open House you will get to know your library and librarians, as well as Office of Student Success staff; you will walk away with some great loot; and best of all, you will meet and have your FYS Summer Reader signed by its author, the incomparable Wiley Cash.
We look forward to seeing you on 9/9!