Most of the works of writer Ron Rash begin life as single images — ones that live in his head. His first novel, “One Foot in Eden” (Picador/2003), started as a snapshot of a farmer standing in a field with his crops dying all around him. His second novel, “Saints at the River” (Picador/2005), originated as a vision of a child looking up through water.
Whatever the spark, all of Rash’s works share in his Western Carolina ancestry. They are populated by Appalachian characters and sprinkled with mountain dialect. The settings are specific to the region, but the themes – like marriage, death and the environment – are universal. Host Frank Stasio will talk with Ron Rash, professor of Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University, about his work and growing acclaim.