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Thursday, May 11, 2006


Author Lee Maynard will be one of the featured workshop leaders of the 2006 WV Writers Summer Conference.

We go now to region 9 representative Terry McNemar for more on this breaking news story...

The appearance of the novel, Crum in 1988 stirred deep feelings. Lee Maynard, a native of Crum (Wayne County), West Virginia, spins a sometimes shocking, often outrageous, always irreverent tale of a young man's rebellion against the people and the place which have surrounded his life. Part Huckleberry Finn and part The Red and the Black, the story is ultimately not about the town of Crum, but about the need to reject the comfort and familiarity of home and find a place in the larger world. At the same time, Crum is a touching and humorous look at small-town life, and at the peculiar rituals of male adolescence. Since its highly successful first publication, this novel has become something of an underground classic, with used copies now scarce and costly.

The sequel to Crum, Screaming with the Cannibals gets its title when the central character of Crum, whose Christian name is revealed in this novel, finds himself in an evangelical service in Kentucky on the other side of the Tug River from his native West Virginia. As the folks touched by the Spirit rave and howl, he remembers how, back in Crum, the folks used to tell him to stay on his side of the river, because the people on the other side were known to eat their children. And now, here he is in a Kentucky holy-roller church, screaming right along with the cannibals.

Since the first novel, our protagonist has visited the West Virginia holler where his family lived before he moved up to the greater sophistication of Crum, and there he discovers that his favorite uncle has disappeared from the face of the earth in a moon-shining accident. He then meets the girl who makes the earth -- or at least the hay loft -- move for him and, quite literally, he falls for her. From there he goes to Kentucky, and then to Myrtle Beach, where he gets hired as a life guard, although he cannot swim a stroke.

Not since August (or so) of 2003 when the 'Outlaw Writers Tour' of Chuck Kinder and Lee Maynard came to a close, has such literary genius and insight been run out of so many towns.

Well, thanks to Geoff Fuller and the hard work the WV Writers, Inc. board, the stars of the outlaw writers tour, Lee Maynard and Chuck Kinder will be presenting separate sessions and hanging out at the Annual Conference at Cedar Lakes.

I strongly urge you to send your reservations a.s.a.p. This is a rare opportunity to see, hear, and learn from these and other terrific presenters. If you were on the fence about attending this years conference, you should be off and running. Like they say in Napa Valley, this will be a very, very good year.

Thanks Terry!