Big Read 2019 – About the Author

Ron Rash was born on September 25, 1953 in Chester, South Carolina and grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University and Clemson University from which he holds a B.A. and M.A. in English, respectively.

Rash’s poems and stories have appeared in more than 100 magazines and journals. In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Rash has achieved international acclaim as a short story author, winning the Frank O’Connor Award in 2010 for Burning Bright. Recent work such as The Outlaws (Oxford American, Summer, 2013) demonstrates Rash’s ability to create universal tragedies out of ordinary lives in southern Appalachia. Scholars have praised his ability to find the universal within the particulars of place, citing his writing’s “universal appeal, lyrical grace, and narrative efficiency.”

Ron Rash holds the John and Dorothy Parris Professorship in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University, where he teaches poetry and fiction-writing in the Department of English.


For more information about Ron Rash, visit the NEA’s Big Read website.

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