The Friends of the Library of Washington and Lee University present best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb speaking on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m. in the Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. Her talk, titled "Grassroots Saints and Honky Tonk Heroes," is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.
McCrumb's newest novel, Once Around the Track, chronicles the adventures of an all-woman NASCAR team who hired a male driver. The novel examines the mysterious chemistry that bonds fan to driver. 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.
"My books are like Appalachian quilts," says McCrumb. "I take brightly colored scraps of legends, ballads, fragments of rural life, and local tragedy, and I piece them together into a complex whole that tells not only a story, but also a deeper truth about the culture of the mountain South."
She is the author of Ghost Riders, The Songcatcher, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, The Rosewood Casket, She Walks These Hills, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter and If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O, among others. McCrumb's books have been named Notable Books for the Year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.
McCrumb was honored for Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature by the Appalachian Writer's Association (AWA). She was awarded the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Award; Appalachian Writer of the Year Award from Shepherd College; the Flora McDonald Award; Morehead State University's Chaffin Award; and the Plattner Award from Berea College. Her work has twice received the AWA's Best Appalachian Novel Award.
She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and has an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech.