National bestselling author Charles Frazier featured at Authors for Literacy Event – August 23

April 23, 2013

New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Award Charles Frazier will be joined by a local favorite, author Brian Lee Knopp, to keynote the Literacy Council’s Authors for Literacy Event on August 23, 2013.

Charles Frazier is best known for Cold Mountain, the 1997 historical novel that won the National Book Award for Fiction. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life. It was Charles Frazier’s first novel and a major bestseller, selling roughly three million copies worldwide. Cold Mountain was later adapted into an award-winning film of the same name. The real W. P. Inman was Frazier’s great-great-uncle, who lived near the real Cold Mountain, now within the Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County, North Carolina. Frazier’s captivating second and third novels, Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods, also take place in the Southern Appalachians and tell poetic stories of our region’s complex history.

Frazier will be joined in his presentation by the local, Malaprops-bestselling author Brian Lee Knopp. Knopp penned Mayhem in Mayberry, which chronicles the adventures of a small-town private investigator, and co-authored the collaborative novel Naked Came the Leaf Peeper. Both Knopp and Frazier have unique and intimate perspectives on Western North Carolina’s Southern Appalachian culture.  

The evening will open with a cocktail hour silent auction, to include distinctive art and crafts, autographed and rare books, and priceless opportunities to enjoy excursions in Asheville and beyond. Following the cocktail hour, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner, Frazier and Knopp’s presentation, and a book signing.

Frazier is a longtime supporter of literacy. In Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier’s protagonist Will Cooper says, “The way I look at it, we have all been illiterate. Only a few of us stay that way, usually for the worst of reasons. Poverty in some cases. Law in others, at least back in the day of slavery.”  While this novel took place in the mid-1800s, the connection between illiteracy and poverty remains today. Nearly 20% of adults in Buncombe County do not have a high school diploma/GED, and one in 10 adults cannot read at or above a basic level. These individuals are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who have received a high school diploma.