Revises new novel and continues teaching at WCU
Just over 11 years after he joined the Western Carolina University faculty, author Ron Rash is celebrating the recent release of his short story “greatest hits,” putting the final touches on a new novel that holds a surprise for his fans, and relishing in the opportunities he has to nurture budding writers at the university.
Released this month by Harper-Collins, Rash’s collection “Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories” includes 34 short stories written over a span of 34 years, with the oldest one dating back to when he was 27 years old. Most of the stories have been previously published in one of his five books of short stories, but three have appeared only in magazines.
Rash, WCU’s Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture, said he had a pool of about 100 stories to consider when putting together the new book, and the process of going through them invoked “an eerie feeling.” He said he’s not a writer given to deep introspection in regards to his body of work – in fact, he has never re-read any of his novels because he would “find too much wrong with them.” In choosing the stories for the new collection, he said, “for the first time I was looking back over my writing career and trying to decide what I feel good about.”