Reading Matters

Conroy, Rash, Frazier: Lots of book news

Ron Rash
Ron Rash Amazon

Our old friend, the late Pat Conroy, will be on D.G. Martin’s Bookwatch at 5 p.m. Thursday (UNC-TV). It’s a rerun, of course, and perhaps the richest of all Martin’s interviews.

Ron Rash will soon be off to Leon, France, where he’ll promote the paperback release of his 2004 novel, “Saints at the River.” Even better for readers, Rash has wrapped up a new collection of short stories. This summer, he’ll give those stories a last onceover, which he says is like being a house painter. “Putting on more coats and finding the spots you missed.”

Former Observer reporter Pam Kelley has a contract with The New Press. Tentative title: “Money Rock: A Story of Cocaine, Race and Ambition in the New South” – about a Charlotte cocaine dealer and his family as well as a story about Charlotte’s rise as a New South city.

Award-winning poet Joseph Mills of Winston-Salem is the 2017 winner of the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition (and $1,000). The winning essay: “On Hearing My Daughter Trying to Sing Dixie.”

Charles Frazier of Raleigh (“Cold Mountain,” “Nightwoods”) is, according to wife Katherine Frazier, plugging away on his latest novel, with publication, she predicts, in 2018. Meanwhile, in June, we’ll see the 20th anniversary edition of “Cold Mountain.”

Charlotte novelists Megan Miranda and Renee Ahdieh each have books. April for Miranda’s second thriller, “The Perfect Stranger,” about a failed journalist whose sleuthing skills help to solve a case. May for Ahdieh’s “Flame in the Mist,” a mix of Japanese and Korean folklore for young adults.

Clyde Edgerton’s brainchild, “Memories, Molasses & More: Recipes and Food Stories from Sister Churches,” will include 15 recipes each from two Wilmington churches: Winter Park Baptist and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.

Charlotte’s Brendan Reichs, son of bestselling thriller writer Kathy Reichs and partner with her on the young adult series “Virals,” has written his first solo young adult book. “Nemesis” is out this week.

Hickory’s Mary Ellen Snodgrass is the author of “Brian Friel: A Literary Companion,” an investigation into the themes of the Irish playwright and columnist.

Hillsborough novelist and memoirist David Payne (“Barefoot to Avalon, A Brother’s Story”) is exploring a middle-aged love story that addresses what it’s like, “late in the day, on the windy side of the hill, having largely failed at love,” to be given a second chance and to take it.

Ron Rash’s blurb on Mark Powell’s novel, “echolocation,” due in May, says it’s a “beautifully written, disturbing portrait of Americans searching for meaning in a violent, fragmented world.” Powell, who teaches at Appalachian State, dedicates the novel to Pat Conroy, “old courage teacher.”

Raleigh novelist Kim Church is at work on a second novel, the story of two sisters caught up in the Gastonia textile strike of 1929. And her exquisite novel “Byrd” will be reissued this spring in honor of Dzanc Books’ 10th anniversary.