Wiley Cash talks Tuesday, October 3, UNC Asheville Lipinsky Hall (On UNC Campus) 7PM in Conversation with Charles Frazier

The Last Ballad

Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, NC. The insular community considers the mill’s owners-the newly arrived Goldberg brothers-white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and others workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job earns Ella a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband John has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever she can find.

 

When the union leaflets first come through the mill, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella makes up her mind to join the movement-a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town-indeed all that she loves.

 

Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early Twentieth Century America-and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers. Lyrical, heartbreaking, and haunting, this eloquent new novel confirms Wiley Cash’s place among our nation’s finest writers.

a sweeping, old-fashioned saga … [THE LAST BALLAD] is powerful and moving, exploring complex historical issues that are still with us today.”
Booklist

 

“Inspired by the events of an actual textile-mill strike in 1929, Cash creates a vivid picture of one woman’s desperation. . .  A heartbreaking and beautifully written look at the real people involved in the labor movement.”
—KIRKUS

 

“A promising young voice in Southern Fiction … [Cash] writes with earnestness and great sympathy”
Library Journal

 

“This suspenseful, moving novel is a story of struggle and personal sacrifice for the greater good that will resonate with readers of John Steinbeck or Ron Rash.”
—Publishers Weekly

 

“Wiley Cash reveals the dignity and humanity of people asking for a fair shot in an unfair world.”
—Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World and Orphan Train

 

Wiley Cash pulls no punches in this gorgeous, gut-wrenching novel, and that’s entirely as it should be for a story of desperate people. In an era when American workers are besieged as they haven’t been since the Great Depression, I can think of no more relevant novel for our times than THE LAST BALLAD.”
— Ben Fountain, Author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

 

Saturday, September 30th

WILMINGTON, NC

Barnes & Noble

850 Inspiration Drive

3:00 PM

 

Tuesday, October 3rd

ASHEVILLE, NC

UNC Asheville

Lipinsky Hall (On UNC Campus)

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Charles Frazier

Music by Shannon Whitworth

 

Wednesday, October 4th
SPARTANBURG, SC
Hub City
186 W Main Street
7:00 PM

In conversation with John Lane

 

Thursday, October 5th
GASTONIA, NC
Loray Mill
300 S Firestone Street

6:30 PM

 

Friday, October 6th
WILMINGTON, NC
WHQR Gallery
254 N Front Street
7:00 PM

In Conversation with Mallory Brady Cash

 

Saturday, October 7th
SOUTHERN PINES, NC
Country Bookshop
140 NW Broad Street
4:00 PM

In Conversation with Kevin Maurer

 

Sunday, October 8th

CHARLOTTE, NC

Park Road Books

4139 Park Road

2:00 PM

 

Monday, October 9th
BIRMINGHAM, AL
Alabama Booksmith
2626 19th Place S.

5:00 PM

 

Tuesday, October 10th
RALEIGH, NC
Quail Ridge Books and Music
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Jill McCorkle

 

Wednesday, October 11th
CHAPEL HILL, NC
Flyleaf Books
752 MLK Jr Boulevard

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Randall Kenan

Introduction by Daniel Wallace

Thursday, October 12th
WAYNESVILLE, NC
The Wineseller

w/ Blue Ridge Books
20 Church Street

12:00 PM

 

Thursday, October 12th
KNOXVILLE, TN
Union Ave Books
517 Union Avenue

7:00 pm

 

Saturday, October 14th
NASHVILLE, TN
Southern Festival of Books
301 6th Ave N
War Memorial Plaza

10:00 AM

In Conversation with Nicole Krauss, Claire Cameron, and Stephanie Powell Watts

 

Monday, October 16th

GREENVILLE, SC

  1. Judson Booksellers

130 S. Main Street

7:00 PM

 

Tuesday, October 17th
DAVIDSON, NC
Main Street Books
126 South Main Street

7:00 PM

 

Wednesday, October 18th
WINSTON SALEM, NC
Book Marks
251 N Spruce Street

6:00 PM

 

Thursday, October 19th
GREENSBORO, NC
Scuppernong Books
304 S. Elm Street

7:00 PM
In conversation with Bryant Simon

 

Friday, October 20th

WAKE FOREST, NC

Page 158 Books

415 S Brooks St, Suite B

12:00 PM

 

Friday, October 20th
DURHAM, NC
Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth Street

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Lee Smith

 

Saturday, October 21st
PITTSBORO, NC

McIntyre’s Books
220 Market Street, Fearrington Village

11:00 AM
In Conversation with Bronwen Dickey

 

Saturday, October 21st
Cary, NC

Barnes and Noble

760 SE Maynard

3:00 PM

 

Tuesday, October 24th
DALLAS, TX
Deep Vellum Bookstore
3000 Commerce Street

6:30 PM

In conversation with Ben Fountain

 

Wednesday, October 25th
HOUSTON, TX
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive

7:00 PM

 

Thursday, October 26th
AUSTIN, TX
Book People
603 N Lamar Boulevard

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Clay Smith

 

Wednesday, November 1st
PROVIDENCE, RI
Evening with Authors

Location and Time TBA

With Alice Hoffman and Nicole Strauss

 

Thursday, November 2nd
CHARLOTTE, NC
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation
Verse & Vino Annual fundraiser

501 S College Street

6:30 PM

 

Thursday, November 9th
SPOKANE, WA
Spokane Public Library
906 West Main Avenue

Time TBA

 

Friday, November 17th

HICKORY, NC

Barnes and Noble

2405 US-70

7:00 PM

 

Saturday, November 18th

BREVARD, NC

Highland Books

277 N Broad Street

11:00 AM

Saturday, November 18th
ASHEVILLE, NC
Barnes and Noble
3 S Tunnel Road

3:00 PM

 

Friday, December 1st

PAWLEY’S ISLAND, SC

Litchfield Books

11421 Ocean Highway

11:30 AM

 

Thursday, December 7th

ATLANTA, GA
“Writers at the Wrecking Bar”
Hosted by A Cappella Books
292 Morland Avenue NE
Time TBA

In Conversation TBA

Thursday, December 14th

SOUTH EUCLID, OH

Cuyahoga Public Library

1876 S Green Road

7:00 PM

In Conversation with Thirty Umrigar

 

 

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