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Ron Rash

Ron Rash is a New York Times best-selling author, PEN/Faulkner finalist, two-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, and winner of the James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He wrote three collections of poetry and two collections of short stories before transitioning to writing a series of critically acclaimed and award-winning novels.

Rash’s latest novel is Above the Waterfall, a haunting tale set against the backdrop of contemporary Appalachia about lives shaped by violence, passion, and a powerful connection to the land. In his most lyrical novel yet, Rash echoes the lapsarian beauty of Faulkner and demonstrates why the New York Times’ Janet Maslin calls him “one of the best American novelists of his day,” and Richard Price deems him “a gorgeous, brutal writer.”

In his forthcoming poetry collection, Poems: New and Selected, Rash vividly channels the rhythms of life in Appalachia, deftly capturing the panoply of individuals who are its heart and soul—men and women inured to misfortune and hard times yet defined by tremendous fortitude, resilience, and a fierce sense of community. Poems demonstrates Rash’s rich talents and confirms his legacy as a standard-bearer for the literature of the American South.

Rash is also the author of the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award winner Burning Bright, a collection that captures Appalachia’s eerie beauty and stark violence through the lives of his unforgettable characters. His 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times best-selling novel, Serena, is currently being made into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and was listed as Amazon’s #2 Book of the Year at the time of publication. He has written three other prize-winning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; three collections of poems; and three collections of stories, among them Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award.

Rash joined the faculty of Western Carolina University in 2003, coming back to his family’s homeland in the mountains, where he currently serves as the Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Studies.

Selected Bibliography

Poems: New and Selected (2016)
Above the Waterfall (2015)
Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories (2014)
The Cove (2012)
Serena (2008)

Online Resources

Ron Rash’s website
Ron Rash interviewed on NPR
Deep South magazine interview