Author Ron Rash to speak at Easley library

Best-selling author Ron Rash will speak and hold a book signing on Friday, October 6, at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Memorial Library in Easley. Clemson Libraries is partnering with other libraries in the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens area to host the free event.

Rash will discuss his new novel “The Caretaker” and will give a book signing after the talk. Books will be available for purchase at the event. The event is free but online registration is required.

Told against the backdrop of the Korean War as a small Appalachian town sends its sons to battle, “The Caretaker” is a breathtaking love story and a searing examination of the acts we seek to justify in the name of duty, family, honor, and love.

It’s 1951 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Blackburn Gant, his life irrevocably altered by a childhood case of polio, seems condemned to spend his life among the dead as the sole caretaker of a hilltop cemetery. It suits his withdrawn personality, and the inexplicable occurrences that happen from time to time rattle him less than interaction with the living. But when his best and only friend, the kind but impulsive Jacob Hampton, is conscripted to serve overseas, Blackburn is charged with caring for Jacob’s wife, Naomi, as well.

Sixteen-year-old Naomi Clarke is an outcast in Blowing Rock, an outsider, poor and uneducated, who works as a seasonal maid in the town’s most elegant hotel. When Naomi eloped with Jacob a few months after her arrival, the marriage scandalized the community, most of all his wealthy parents who disinherited him. Shunned by the townsfolk for their differences and equally fearful that Jacob may never come home, Blackburn and Naomi grow closer and closer until a shattering development derails numerous lives.

A tender examination of male friendship and rivalry as well as a riveting, page-turning novel of familial devotion, “The Caretaker” brilliantly depicts the human capacity for delusion and destruction all too often justified as acts of love.

This event is hosted by OPAL, a consortium of public and academic libraries in Oconee, Pickens and Anderson Counties, and Fiction Addiction bookstore.

About the Author

Ron Rash is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel “Serena,” in addition to the critically acclaimed novels “The Risen,” “Above the Waterfall,” “The Cove,” “One Foot in Eden,” “Saints at the River,” and “The World Made Straight;” five collections of poems; and seven collections of stories, among them “Burning Bright,” which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” a New York Times bestseller, and “Chemistry and Other Stories,” which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Three times the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, his books have been translated into 17 languages. He teaches at Western Carolina University.