The mountains of Virginia and West Virginia have inspired American fiction writers for centuries. Authors Valerie Nieman and Clifford Garstang continue the conversation in their newest works. Listen in with us and bring your questions about the regions that inspired the books, their writing, and why this landscape continues to be such a rich source of inspiration.
Valerie Nieman's fourth novel, To the Bones, is a genre-bending satire of the coal industry and its effects on Appalachia. Her third poetry collection, Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse, was published in fall 2018, with work that has appeared in The Missouri Review, Chautauqua, Southern Poetry Review, and other journals. Her writing has appeared widely in journals and in numerous anthologies. A graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte and a former journalist, she was a founding editor of two literary magazines. She teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University.
Clifford Garstang's debut literary fiction novel The Shaman of Turtle Valley follows prize-winning story collections, In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know. A former international lawyer, Garstang was editor of the anthology series, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. With degrees from Northwestern University, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Garstang was an international lawyer in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Singapore and a legal reform consultant in Kazakhstan. Learn more at: https://cliffordgarstang.com/