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NC Literary Lights: Ron Rash

Ron Rash

Most of the works of writer Ron Rash begin life as single images — ones that live in his head. His first novel, “One Foot in Eden” (Picador/2003), started as a snapshot of a farmer standing in a field with his crops dying all around him. His second novel, “Saints at the River” (Picador/2005), originated as a vision of a child looking up through water.

Whatever the spark, all of Rash’s works share in his Western Carolina ancestry. They are populated by Appalachian characters and sprinkled with mountain dialect. The settings are specific to the region, but the themes – like marriage, death and the environment – are universal. Host Frank Stasio will talk with Ron Rash, professor of Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University, about his work and growing acclaim.

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.