New authors for Summer Reading Challenge

  • Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:01 a.m.
'Salvation' by Kurt Corriher.
'Salvation' by Kurt Corriher.

Despite current indications, summer is coming. And everyone needs something to read. While children and teens have programs geared to them, the Summer Reading Challenge again invites members of the community to read three books and come together to discuss one or two or all three.

This summer, Salisbury’s Dr. Kurt Corriher will be featured with his latest novel, “Salvation: A Story of Survival,” along with North Carolina author Holly Goddard Jones and her book, “The Next Time You See Me” and “Once Upon a River” by Michigan writer Bonnie Jo Campbell.


Corriher is a writer, actor and Catawba College professor who lives between a forest and a field of soybeans near China Grove. His first novel, “Someone to Kill,” a classic thriller, was a Penzler Pick of the month on Amazon.com. “Salvation,” an emotional tale of man, his son and their struggle to survive, was published in October 2012.

His website, kurtcorriher.com, tells Corriher’s story: “Kurt began his work life milking cows and picking cotton on a family farm in North Carolina. Over his long career he has also worked as a computer programmer, a public policy analyst, a technical writer, a construction laborer, a professional actor, a translator, and a checkout clerk in a grocery store. He has lived a total of four years in Germany and Austria and speaks fluent German. In 1969 he graduated with honors from Davidson College where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in German literature and an MFA in stage performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Presently he teaches acting, dramatic literature and other theater courses at Catawba College.”

Corriher will speak to readers and others about the creative process on Sept. 26 at Trinity Oaks Retirement Center.

Jones was born and raised in Russellville, Ky. At 19, after a year of college at Western Kentucky University, she married her boyfriend, Brandon, and the two moved to Lexington, Ky., to pursue degrees at the University of Kentucky. In Lexington, Jones took her first fiction workshops and worked at University Press of Kentucky.

​She received an MFA in creative writing at the Ohio State University, and has taught at Denison University, Murray State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is assistant professor of English..

Her first book, “Girl Trouble,” was published in 2009 by Harper Perennial.

“The Next Time You See Me” is her first novel. It is an Okra Pick, chosen by Southern Indie Booksellers as the upcoming southern titles they are most looking forward to hand selling. She was a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.

She and Brandon, who teaches interior design at High Point University, have two rowdy dogs, Bishop and Martha.

She will speak at Trinity Oaks on Thursday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

Campbell grew up on a small Michigan farm with her mother and four siblings in a house her grandfather Herlihy built in the shape of an H. She learned to castrate small pigs, milk Jersey cows and make chocolate candy. When she left home for the University of Chicago to study philosophy, her mother rented out her room. She has hitchhiked across the U.S. and Canada, scaled the Swiss alps on her bicycle, and traveled with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus selling snow cones.

Campbell’s “Once Upon a River” features Margo Crane, 16, a beauty with impressive rifle skills. The book’s action is described: “After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo’s childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman traveling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her.

“Salvation” also features a river journey, so it will be interesting to discover the parallels, if any, between the two books.

Campbell will talk to readers and others in a Skype interview on Thursday, Aug. 8 at Trinity Oaks.

Her short story collection, “Women and Other Animals,” details the lives of extraordinary females in rural and small town Michigan, and it won the AWP prize for short fiction; her story “The Smallest Man in the World” received a Pushcart Prize. Her novel “Q Road” investigates the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection “American Salvage,” which consists of 14 stories, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction.

She has received her master’s in mathematics and her MFA in writing from Western Michigan University. She lives with her husband and other animals outside Kalamazoo, Mich., and teaches writing in the low residency program at Pacific University.

Sponsors of the Summer Reading Challenge to date are Trinity Oaks Retirement Community, Salisbury Post, Catawba College, Livingstone College, F&M Bank, Dr. Sheila Brownlow and Deal Safrit and David and Barbara Setzer and Marathon Business Center. You are invited to join the list of sponsors at $100 and up.

As always, you are invited to read all of the books, some of the books or none. Come to hear the authors and join in the discussion on creativity.

Look for reviews in the Salisbury Post leading up to the presentations. Might as well start reading now.

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