Glenn Taylor, assistant professor of English at West Virginia University and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist will participate in Festival America 2016, a bi-annual literary event in France that showcases some of the finest English-language writers in the world.
More than sixty writers will travel to Vincennes Sept. 8-11 for this year’s event themed, “America in All its Forms,” a celebration of the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
“I’m happy to have this opportunity to talk to folks internationally about how a place like West Virginia is often misunderstood or misrepresented,” Taylor said. “A lot of what I’ll be talking about in these discussions will be how much of the American mythology of things, like the gold rush or the coal boom, are still mythologized and misunderstood.”
Taylor will be discussing his newest book, “A Hanging at Cinder Bottom.” While at the festival, Taylor will participate in four panels alongside fellow authors Tom Cooper, Laird Hunt, James McBride and more.
“I really admire so many of the writers attending the festival and I’m anxious to meet them,” said Taylor. “Stewart O’Nan, a Pittsburgh author, was nice enough to write a blurb for my last novel and I’m excited to finally get the chance to meet him in person.”
Set the year of Mark Twain’s death and the panic-inducing glance of Halley’s Comet, “A Hanging at Cinder Bottom” is a historical fiction that is part heist caper, part love story.
Taylor reviewed texts at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and read through historical texts to accurately paint the picture of the time period. He also took inspiration from accounts of older citizens in McDowell.
“A Hanging at Cinder Bottom” is the third book from the author, following “The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart” and “The Marrowbone Marble Company.”
“I feel fortunate to have been with the same publisher, Grasset, in France for all three books,” he said. “My editor, Pierre Demarty, promised me he would bring me to France after ‘Trenchmouth’ was published. I didn’t think it was going to happen, but it did.”
Taylor’s specializations include fiction and 20th century American writing, particularly from Appalachia. He received his masters of fine arts from Texas State University and his master’s degree from Ohio University.