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2010 North Carolina Literary Review reflects the state’s wide-ranging talent

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (July 23, 2010)   —   The 2010 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review, featuring vibrant cover art by Will Henry Stevens, will soon be on its way to subscribers and independent bookstores across the state.

The special feature section focuses on N.C. Appalachian literature, with the work of such literary stars as John Ehle, Robert Morgan, and Kathryn Stripling Byer, while other content moves the reader east with such selections as poetry by James Applewhite. The issue closes with Wilmington-based mystery writer Wanda Canada, complemented by Doug Kazantzis’s seaside photography.

Published by East Carolina University and the N.C. Literary and Historical Association, NCLR is an award-winning journal that received additional funding for the 2010 issue from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

NCLR 2010 opens with an excerpt from Ehle’s “The Land Breakers,” the first in a series of novels in which the author traces the settling of western North Carolina through the experiences of an extended family from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. This series is then discussed in an essay by Terry Roberts that includes material from an interview Roberts conducted with Ehle. Ehle is finding a new audience after Kevin Watson, editor of Press 53 in Winston-Salem, began reprinting his novels in 2006.

NCLR editor Margaret Bauer applauded Roberts’ and Watson’s campaigns to renew interest in Ehle’s work.

“As we edited the content that would follow the Ehle material in the Appalachian section, I was struck by John Ehle’s influence upon the other writers discussed: Robert Morgan, Ron Rash, Pamela Duncan, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Wayne Caldwell — all of these writers seem to have been inspired by Ehle,” said Bauer, an ECU professor in the Department of English.

Other selections include an essay on Morgan’s “The Hinterlands,” which will bring readers to this early book, published before Oprah Winfrey selected his novel “Gap Creek” for her book club.

An essay by Joyce Compton Brown explores Ron Rash’s “Serena,” who Bauer noted “may be the most evil female character I have encountered in literature.” Angelina Jolie has been tapped to play Serena in a movie to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler”).

Other content includes poetry as well as a short story by Byer, the former state poet laureate, and photography by Rob Amberg.

The Appalachian section also features the winner of the 2009 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Two of the 2009 Betts competition finalists also appear in the North Carolina Miscellany section of the issue, with art by Richard Garrison and Kelly Adams complementing these stories.

NCLR 2010 features art and photography by several luminaries of North Carolina’s visual arts. The cover artist, Stevens, was a leading figure of modernism in the American South. Carolina Galleries in Charleston, S.C., provided the front cover art.

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery of Asheville, N.C., provided scans of several more of Stevens’s paintings of the North Carolina mountain region for the inside and back cover and to complement content of the special feature section. The photography of Horace Kephart comes courtesy of Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library and adds images that reflect the time period of several of the novels discussed in the issue.

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Contact: Dr. Margaret Bauer | 252-328-1537