Mark Powell Presents His New Novel in Sylva

Aug 20, 2014

Meet Mark Powell at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 as he presents his new novel, "The Sheltering" at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Powell’s work has been given high praise by Ron Rash, who called him “the best Appalachian novelist of his generation.”

Pat Conroy had this to say in the foreword he wrote for Powell’s new novel, “The Sheltering is at once haunting and an act of pure grace. What you notice first when you come to Mark Powell’s fourth novel is his remarkable gift for language, the bleeding edges around his dialogue, the starch and vigor of his sense of place, the sharp delineation of his characters, and a stylishness all his own.

"He is that rarity among male writers of fiction in that his female characters are as strongly presented as any of his troubled, endangered males. In these spiritually exhausted times, The Sheltering is a philosophical novel with a belief system that collapses in on itself because the membranes of our storm-tossed faith always seem so gossamer and imperiled.

Powell’s dexterous novel is deeply spiritual and deeply religious, but in ways that might scare you to death. You find yourself wanting to believe in his characters even as these unreliable pilgrims can no longer hold on to a firefly’s faith in themselves.”

The author of four novels, Powell has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Breadloaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Collegeville Center for Ecumenical Research, and the Vaclav Havel Fellowship in Playwriting to the Prague Summer Program.

An associate professor of English at Stetson University in Florida, he will spend the coming academic year as a Fulbright Fellow in Slovakia. To reserve copies of his books, call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.