From WNC Magazine
Decades before the term “going viral” came into parlance, Mel Chin used the concept of the virus to describe the way many of his projects were intended to both alter and be altered by the system into which they were injected. That’s just one example of how the Burnsville conceptual artist began his career—and has remained—ahead of his time. It’s why earlier this year, Chin was the subject of a major retrospective at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Mel Chin: Rematch.
Born in Houston in 1951, Chin started to gain national attention shortly after graduating from Peabody College in Nashville in 1975. His participatory See-Saw sculpture, commissioned for the Houston Main Street Monumental Sculpture Festival in 1976, showed the influence of the Land Art movement, and hinted at Chin’s interest in the intersection of art and science. Read more here.
Historically, there have been two outcomes for the female protagonist of the novel: she is either rescued or ruined by a man.
Any woman who is the hero of her own story, who finds satisfaction through her vocation, is “under-celebrated” in literature, says author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her novel “The Signature of All Things,” she aims to remedy that through the story of Alma Whittaker, a 19th century botanist whose story takes off only when she’s in her late 40s and free of the expectations of those closest to her. Gilbert will read from the book, which was just released in paperback, at UNC Asheville on June 27. Read more here.
Asheville children’s book lovers are about to get an early holiday present: three-time Newbery award winner Kate DiCamillo will visit Asheville’s Spellbound Children’s Bookstore on Dec. 8.
DiCammilo’s first novel, “Because of Winn Dixie,” won the John Newbery Award — the highest honor in children’s literature — in 2001. It was later made into a movie, as was her story of a princess and a mouse, “The Tale of Desperaux,” which also won the Newbery award.
This year, she won a third Newbery for “Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” an illustrated novel featuring a flying, poetry-writing squirrel and his human protector, Flora.
Read more here.
The TVA displacements of the 1930s in Eastern Tennessee are familiar to many in Western North Carolina because of similar history. In Amy Greene's exquisite novel "Long Man," the deep pain, love of land and loss experienced by those in the way of progress is brought heartbreakingly to life. She'll read from the novel, recently released in paperback, April 23 at Malaprop's.
The story opens in 1936, when nearly all the residents of tiny Yunteeah have already accepted resettlement offers and moved on. Annie Clyde Dodson is among the only holdouts, along with her aunt Silver Ledford and Beulah Kesterson, all women who have gotten along fine without the trappings of modernity and place the value of their land and their memories much higher than the conveniences of electricity. Read more here.