Author Wayne Caldwell to speak at Turnage Theater

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Staff Writer

A notable and down-home author has been invited by the Friends of the Brown Library to speak, read excerpts from his latest book, “Requiem by Fire,” and discuss writing at the Turnage Theater at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28.
Wayne Caldwell is the first author scheduled to participate in the Friends of the Brown Library’s upcoming Conversations with North Carolina Authors series, which, according to the organization, is a collaboration and continuation of its members’ love of all things that are books.
Caldwell, who also wrote “Cataloochee,” has said that when he is asked if he’s always been a writer, he simply replies, “I’ve always been a reader. At least, I don’t remember not being able to read.”
Both of Caldwell’s books were published by publishing giant Random House Books. Caldwell will be reading excerpts from his second book, “Requiem by Fire,” a story that is close to his heart — and home — as it chronicles the time in the 1920s when a more-modern era comes to a small town in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, getting his master’s degree at Appalachian State University and his Ph.D. at Duke University, Caldwell decided to giving writing a try. But, he said, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that he began to write serious fiction, a craft he continues to learn and hone.
“One can never stop learning,” he said, attributing, in part, his writing ability to reading as much as possible, including reading the Bible. “Not unlike Caravaggio’s paintings or Bob Dylan’s songs, the Bible is part of my intellectual furniture.”
Caldwell doesn’t consider himself to be a religious writer, describing himself as a Southern writer, a writer from Appalachia and just an all-around American writer participating in the worldwide conversation of literature.
When it comes to his discipline for writing, Caldwell said he tries to write for about an hour a day, though sometimes that hour will turn into two or three or four hours. Caldwell contends that because his books consist of his regional Appalachian mountain prose, his readers continue to enjoy the history, comedy, tragedy and pure mountain accents of his prose, humor and storytelling wit.
Members of the Friends of the Brown Library may attend the event for free. Anyone else who attends the event should bring a $5 donation. For $15, a guest attending the event may become a member of the Friends of the Brown Library and enjoy the privileges of being a member of the organization.