Reading Life Editor

N.C. authors writing books of fact and fancy

pkelley@charlotteobserver.comMay 18, 2013 

  • Author events

    Rebecca McClanahan will talk about craft and read from “The Tribal Knot” at the May meeting of the Charlotte Writers Club, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Queens University’s Sports Complex & Conference Center, 2229 Tyvola Road. She’ll read in Sykes Auditorium at Queens at 8 p.m. Friday.

    Daniel Wallace will discuss and read from “The Kings and Queens of Roam,” 7 p.m. Wednesday at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.

A fanciful novel, two memoirs and an exploration of modern domesticity are among new books from N.C. authors.

Two sisters and Roam, the dark, magical town that binds them, are the subject of Daniel Wallace’s novel, “The Kings and Queens of Roam.”

Wallace, who teaches at UNC Chapel Hill, is best known for his novel “Big Fish,” which became a 2003 Tim Burton movie. Kirkus Reviews has given this novel (Touchstone; $24) a starred review, describing it as “layered in symbolism and ripe with lyrical language.”

Charlotte poet and writer Rebecca McClanahan recounts her family’s history in her memoir, “The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change” (Indiana University Press, $22).

When she inherited more than 1,000 family documents – letters, journals, postcards and more – McClanahan, who teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte, writes that she “could not resist the impulse to stitch these lives back together, in part to discover my own place in the tribal constellation.”

In another memoir, “Once Upon a Gypsy Moon,” Raleigh’s Michael Hurley writes of two years he spent sailing from Annapolis to various ports. Hurley, a lawyer, was short on money, jobless and divorced when he set sail. The book (Center Street; $19.99) chronicles his journey of personal discovery.

Why are a generation of smart, educated young people canning jam, knitting and embracing other labor-intensive tasks that their mothers shunned?

Emily Matchar explores a growing do-it-yourself movement that favors home births, home schooling and home-grown vegetables in “Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity” (Simon & Schuster; $26). Matchar, who splits her time between Chapel Hill and Hong Kong, has written about culture, food, women’s issues and more for a number of magazines.

Kelley: 704-358-5271;

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