This website is accessible to all versions of every browser. However, you are seeing this message because your browser does not support basic Web standards, and does not properly display the site's design details. Please consider upgrading to a more modern browser. (Learn More).

You are here: home > arts & entertainment > books

Author Sharyn McCrumb breathes new life into an old southern struggle

Posted Friday, July 16, 2004

e-mail E-mail this page   print Printer-friendly page

The Civil War's Ghost Riders: Author Sharyn McCrumb Breathes New Life into an Old Southern Struggle On North Carolina Bookwatch, July 18, at 5PM

In an all-new episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, airing Sunday, July 18, at 5 PM on UNC-TV, critically-acclaimed author Sharyn McCrumb shares the Civil War chronicles set in the Southern mountains in her latest novel Ghost Riders. Her extraordinary tale reveals more about a war that was fought farm-to-farm, neighbor-to-neighbor in a part of the South that never wanted to leave the union.

In this eye-opening interview, McCrumb reveals how she captured the horrors of a war that tore families apart, turned neighbors into enemies, and left the survivors bitter-long after the fighting was officially over. In the process, the best-selling author introduces a fascinating narrative, rich in historical detail that once again highlights her gift for storytelling and her love of the mountain South.

"I find that the more I write, the more fascinated I become with the idea of the land as an intricate element in the lives of the mountain people, and of the past as prologue for any contemporary narrative," reveals McCrumb. "This connection to the land is personal as well as thematic."

This personal connection stems from McCrumb's local ancestry. Her great-grandfathers were circuit preachers in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains a hundred years ago, riding horseback over the ridges to preach in a different community each week. It is from them, she says, that she gets her regard for books, her gift of storytelling and her love of the Appalachian Mountains.

"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."

Sharyn McCrumb's award-winning novels celebrating the history and folklore of Appalachia have received scholarly acclaim and ranked on the New York Times Best-Seller lists. The author of 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, as well as many other acclaimed novels, McCrumb's books have been named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.

During this season of North Carolina Bookwatch, guests will also include: J. Peder Zane (Remarkable Reads), Clyde Edgerton (Lunch at the Piccadilly), Jim Early (Tar Heel Barbecue), Lynn York (The Piano Teacher), John Dalton (Heaven Lake), Chuck Stone (Squizzy the Black Squirrel), Bart Ehrman (Lost Christianities), Sheila Kay Adams (My Old True Love), Bill Thompson (Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken, and Lazy Dogs), Joe May (Poe & Fanny), Orin Starn (Ishi's Brain), Karen Barker (Sweet Stuff), Dr. Gerald Bell (The Carolina Way), B.J. Mountford (Bloodlines of Shackleford Banks), John Shelton Reed (Minding the South), Steven Sherrill (Visits from the Drowned Girl), Carl Ernst (Following Muhammad) and Orrin Pilkey (How to Read a North Carolina Beach).


Funding for North Carolina Bookwatch is provided by UNC-TV members and by Quail Ridge Books and Music, Raleigh's independent, full service bookstore, bringing readers and writers together since 1984.

North Carolina Bookwatch is part of UNC-TV's ongoing commitment to produce programs for and about North Carolina. UNC-TV is the statewide 11-station broadcast network of the University of North Carolina.

Related info:
NC Book Watch

e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
Author Sharyn McCrumb breathes new life into an old southern struggle

Related info:
NC Book Watch

Arts & Entertainment

Got Feedback?
Send a letter to the editor.

Sign up for the Chatham Chatlist.

Promote your brand at

Subscribe now: RSS news feed, plus FREE headlines for your site