Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wiley Cash

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?

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]
Learn more about the book and author at Wiley Cash's website.

Writers Read: Wiley Cash.

My Book, The Movie: A Land More Kind Than Home.

--Marshal Zeringue