Presentation Time – 3:30 PM to 4:20 PM
Uncovering the Past with the Present in Mind
Wiley Cash will discuss the true story of the violent Loray Mill strike, which is the basis for his novel The Last Ballad. The strike, which was one of the defining moments in American labor history, was never taught during Cash’s schooling, discussed in his community, or acknowledged by a city that made headlines around the world in the summer of 1929 when the strike turned deadly. Cash will discuss the reasons this story was buried, how he fictionalized its people and events with elements of truth, and why this story from 1929 could be taken from today’s headlines.
About Wiley Cash
Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind than Home, and This Dark Road to Mercy. The founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency, he has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Weymouth Center. He serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview low-residency MFA program. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two young daughters.
Author photo credit: Mallory Cash