Sharyn McCrumb

Literary Birthday – 26 February – Sharyn McCrumb

Happy Birthday, Sharyn McCrumb, born 26 February 1948.


  1. I find that the more I write, the more fascinated I become with the idea of the land as an intricate element in the lives of the mountain people, and of the past as prologue for any contemporary narrative. This connection to the land is personal as well as thematic.
  2. My books are like Appalachian quilts. I take brightly coloured scraps of legends, ballads, fragments of rural life, and local tragedy, and I piece them together into a complex whole that tells not only a story, but also a deeper truth about the culture of the mountain South.
  3. I always was interested in the songs and the legends. Those from my father’s side of the family always seemed to have so much substance. Mother was from the flatlands of North Carolina around New Bern; that was, I suppose, the Plantation South. Her stories didn’t resonate with me. I guess I wasn’t meant to be a Southern writer in the Pat Conroy sense of the word.
  4. Nobody has time to write a book. Some people just do it anyhow.
  5. Cities are judged by their richest inhabitants and rural areas are judged.

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern American writer. Her books explore and celebrate the history and folklore of Appalachia. Her books include the Elizabeth McPherson mystery series and the St. Dale series. She is best known for her Ballad novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including the New York Times Best Sellers: The Ballad of Tom Dooley, She Walks These Hills, and The Rosewood Casket.

Source for image and quotes 1-3 / source for quotes 4-5

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th February 2020