I am an award-winning Southern writer. I am probably best known for my
Appalachian "Ballad" novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains. These books include New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket, which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness, and The Ballad of Frankie Silver, the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina; The Songcatcher, a genealogy in music; and Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians.
My newest novel St. Dale, the Canterbury Tales set in NASCAR, was published by Kensington Books of New York in 2005, and is currently a nominee for the Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction and a finalist for its People's Choice Award.
Honors include: the 2003 Award for Literature given by the
East Tennessee Historical Society; AWA Outstanding Contribution to
Appalachian Literature Award; Chaffin Award for Achievement in Southern
Literature; Plattner Award for Short Story; and AWA's Best Appalachian
I was the first writer-in-residence at King College in Tennessee. In 2001 I
served as fiction writer-in-residence at the WICE Conference in Paris, and
in 2005 I was honored as the writer of the year at the annual literary
celebration at Emory and Henry College. (And I was the first Southern writer to take along a NASCAR driver to that literary seminar. Thank you, Ward Burton!)
When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls.
On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home.
In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime.
The New York Times Bestseller
Set in the Appalachian wilderness and blending legends and folklore with high suspense, this stellar novel, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, is considered one of McCrumb’s crowning achievements.
In 1833 Frankie Silver was an eighteen-year-old girl convicted of murder in Burke County, North Carolina. Through a detailed investigation, the local sheriff, and soon all the townsfolk, discover reason to question her guilt---but the wheels of justice were mercilessly unstoppable, and she was hanged.
Now, more than a century later, another woman is convicted of murder in the lush hills of Tennessee. Her life is in the hands of Spencer Arrowood, a man who begins to discover that the convictions of these two women have deep and haunting parallels. Although Frankie’s fate cannot be changed, there is still time to alter the fate of another innocent woman.
In a voice that could only be Sharyn McCrumb’s, the worlds of these two murders, these two women, intersect in this densely plotted and lyrical novel—and characters, generations, and history are breathlessly painted against an Appalachian canvas.
The Ballad of Tom Dooley is a literary triumph—what began as a fictional re-telling of the historical account of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time became an astonishing revelation of the real culprit responsible for the murder of Laura Foster
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley…The folk song, made famous by the Kingston Trio, recounts a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains after the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and her lover Tom Dula was hanged for the crime. The sensational elements in the case attracted national attention: a man and his beautiful, married lover accused of murdering the other-woman; the former governor of North Carolina spearheading the defense; and a noble gesture from the prisoner on the eve of his execution, saving the woman he really loved.
With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, Sharyn McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened—and may also bring belated justice to an innocent man. What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. Tom Dula and Ann Melton had a profound romance spoiled by the machinations of their servant, Pauline Foster.
Bringing to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy, Sharyn McCrumb gifts understanding and compassion to her compelling tales of Appalachia, and solidifies her status as one of today's great Southern writers.
In 1935, a beautiful young schoolteacher is accused of murdering her coal-miner father in
a Virginia mountain community.
National journalists descend on Wise County, intent upon exonerating the defendant, and on stereotyping the mountain community to satisfy their Depression-era readers.
But local cub reporter Carl Jennings writes what he sees: an ordinary town and a defendant who is probably guilty.
The novel resonates with the present: an economic depression; a deadly Japanese earthquake; the rise of political fanatics; and a media culture turning news stories into soap operas for the diversion of the masses.
The Devil Amongst the Lawyers is a literary tour de force, examining social issues that go well beyond the fate of one defendant. It is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb’s lyrical and poetic writing about the mountain South.