Wiley Cash is from western North Carolina. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and teaches English at Bethany College.
His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly.
Cash's first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, is now out from William Morrow.
From his Fiction Writers Review Q & A with Brad Wetherell:
Brad Wetherell: What was the initial germ of this novel for you?Learn more about the book and author at Wiley Cash's website.
Wiley Cash: I got the idea for the story of the novel when I was in graduate school at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the fall of 2003. I was taking a course in African American literature, and one day my professor, Reggie Scott Young, brought in a news story about a young African American boy with autism who was smothered during a church healing service in a storefront church on Chicago’s South Side. Although I was raised in an evangelical Southern Baptist church, I was familiar enough with charismatic belief to understand its power, and I was particularly drawn to the Pentecostal tradition, especially the Holiness movement that takes the Bible as the literal word of God, particularly Mark 16: 17-18:And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will place their hands on the sick, and they will get well.The story of the young boy’s smothering was clearly tragic, but given my interest in the Holiness movement, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by it, and given my own memories of growing up in the evangelical church, I couldn’t help but be compelled to write about it.
But when I thought about sitting down at my desk to begin the story, I knew I’d immediately face...[read on]
Writers Read: Wiley Cash.
My Book, The Movie: A Land More Kind Than Home.