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The New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the unforgettable films Norma Rae and Silkwood.

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A powerful book (THE LAST BALLAD) that speaks to contemporary concerns through historical injustice… Cash vividly blends the archival with the imaginative… With care and steadiness, (Cash) has pulled from the wreckage of the past a lost moment of Southern progressivism. Perhaps fiction can help us bear the burden of Southern history.
— New York Times Book Review

Wiley Cash’s first novel A Land More Kind Than Home appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list in hardcover, paperback, and e-book. The New York Times also named it an Editor's Choice and a Notable Book of 2012. The novel was included on best of 2012 lists by Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Books-a-Million, and many others. A Land More Kind Than Home won the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance’s Book Award for Fiction of the Year and the John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award from the UK's Crime Writers' Association, and it was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the American Booksellers' Association's Debut Fiction Prize.

Wiley's second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was a national bestseller, an Indie Next Pick, a SIBA Okra Pick, an O Magazine Top Ten Title, a LibraryReads February 2014 Selection, an Amazon Book of the Month, a finalist for an Edgar Award for best novel, and winner of the Crime Writers' Association's Book of the Year. It has been optioned for film.

His most recent novel, The Last Ballad, was a national bestseller, named a Notable Book of 2017 by the American Library Association, Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Public Library and won the 2018 Southern Book Prize. The novel received the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature and the Mary Frances Prize for Distinguished Arts and Letters, and it was a finalist for the Robert J. Langum Prize for Historical Fiction.

Wiley has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His writing has appeared Garden & Gun, Saveur Magazine, Our State Magazine, and other publications. He holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he studied fiction writing under Ernest J. Gaines. Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. He has taught fiction writing at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Bethany College, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

A native of North Carolina, he and his wife and their two young daughters divide their time between Asheville and Wilmington, NC.

Talks and Topics

  • The Last Ballad Presentation

  • A Land More Kind Than Home Presentation

  • This Dark Road to Mercy Presentation

  • The Awful Responsibility of Time: Re-Reading and Writing Under the Weight of History

  • The Gift of the Grind: Writing Your Way Through


Check Wiley's Availability

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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • April 8, 2018: Ohio State University-Denison

  • April 10, 2018: University of Louisiana-Lafayette

  • April 21, 2018: In Conversation with Charles Frazier - Asheville NC

  • April 29, 2018: Sunday with Friends, Abingdon Library, VA

  • May 18, 2018: Southern Labor Studies Association Conference - Athens, GA

  • June 1, 2018: The Thomas Wolfe Society Conference

  • June 14, 2018: Cape Fear Literacy Council Luncheon - Wilmington, NC

  • Aug 3, 2018: Laughing Heart Literary Festival

  • Nov 6, 2018: East Carolina University One Book Event

  • Mar 13, 2109: High Point Literary League


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