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Sharyn McCrumb To Appear Tonight At Radford University

By Amber Ross
November 4, 2010

Angry circus owners lynched an old female elephant in front of a mob of 500 in 1916.

This is one of the factual, key aspects New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb uses in one of her recent novels, “The Devil Amongst the Lawyers.”

“The Devil Amongst the Lawyers” is a fictional tale following the life and career of a reporter in Wise County, Va., who grew up knowing the stories about, Mary, the circus elephant that was lynched in Johnson City, Tenn., for trampling her trainer.

McCrumb is Southern writer most known for her Appalachian ballad novels. Her ballad novels are a series of books that incorporate Southern legends, and modern-day issues set in the mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee.

McCrumb plans to visit Radford University Thursday night to discuss, “Literary Reverbs: Using Myths and Legends to Add Resonance to Contemporary Fiction.”

McCrumb had previously visited this area in 2007, and according to Jo Ann Asbury she has a large following of people, who usually attend her readings whenever she is in the area.

One such fan is Toni Cox a librarian at the Radford Public Library, she said, “Yes, I am a fan. I saw her a couple of weeks ago at the Higher Education Center in Roanoke, where she talked about her new book ‘The Devil Amongst Lawyers’ to librarians in the area. She discussed how some non-fiction stories are not always true, and some fiction stories are true, because she bases many of her books on factual events.”

Another one of McCrumb’s recent novels is, “Faster Pastor.” “Faster Pastor” was co-authored by NASCAR driver Adam Edwards.

“Faster Pastor” was McCrumb’s second NASCAR related novel to be published. In 2007, “St. Dale” was released. “St. Dale” took its inspiration from “The Canterbury Tales” in that it depicts a pilgrimage of a group of Dale Earnhardt fans, in the honor of the late NASCAR driver.

Her literary discussion will be in the auditorium of The Bonnie Hurlburt Center, on the Radford University campus from 7-9 p.m. This event is free to students and the public.

McCrumb’s appearance will be presented by Radford University professor Jo Ann Asbury’s honors classes, and sponsored by The Honors Academy, the Appalachian Studies Center and the English department.

There will be a reception and book signing after the presentation, and some of her books will be made available for purchase at the signing.