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Conversations with Ron Rash edited by Mae Miller Claxton and Rain Newcomb

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Those of us who have been around Ron Rash know that he is full of good stories – like the one of his realization that when his grandfather “read” him The Cat and the Hat it came out differently each time, unlike when his mother read the book. This was his first clue that his grandfather could not really read the words. The editors have chosen Rash’s conversations with people he is really comfortable talking with, like Joyce Compton Brown, his English professor at Gardner Webb University, and Jeff Daniel Marion and Jesse Graves, both East Tennessee poets. But they have also chosen four interviewers from other countries that illustrate the world-wide appeal of a writer whose works have been translated into fourteen different languages. An interview that was aired on NPR demonstrates Rash’s national appeal in the United States. The subjects of the interviews range from the connection between his work as a writer and his penchant for long-distance running to his life as both a student and a teacher. The interviews span fifteen years and are arranged so they illuminate his life in very roughly chronological order. Editor Mae Miller Claxton is a professor at Western Carolina University, where Ron Rash teaches, and Rain Newcomb is a lecturer at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College who was a graduate student at Western Carolina.

Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, a 2019 paperback reprint of a 2017 release. 230 pages with an Index, Chronology and Additional Resources. Trade paperback.