The Wilma Dykeman Legacy will once again sponsor the monthly Thomas Wolfe Book Club, January through April, at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site. Local educators will lead discussions of selected short stories written by Asheville’s native son. The public is invited to the conversations on the second Thursday of each month. All discussions begin at 5:30 p.m.
“Thomas Wolfe is an immensely important and influential American writer,” says Terry Roberts, “an ongoing presence that too often we take for granted because he’s a ‘local boy.’” Roberts, winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award for his novel That Bright Land, will kick off the series by leading a discussion of “The Anatomy of Loneliness” on Thursday, January 11, at 5:30 p.m.
Praise for Wolfe often focuses on Look Homeward, Angel—his autobiographical, first novel and best known work. “But the fact remains,” Roberts says, “that he was a gifted short story writer, and this series gives us as a reading community the chance to discuss some of his finest work.”
Additional stories that will be discussed include “The Hollow Men” (February 8), led by Brandon Johnson; “Polyphemus” (March 8), led by Dan and Ana Clare; and “Old Man Rivers” (April 12), led by Ellen Brown. The events are free and open to the public. The text for the selected stories is The Complete Short Stories of Thomas Wolfe, edited by Francis E. Skipp with a Foreword by James Dickey (New York: Scribner’s, 1987).
“Thomas Wolfe has influenced me and countless other regional writers,” Roberts says, “and it’s high time that Asheville readers paid attention to the breadth and depth of his short stories.”
The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is located at 52 North Market Street in downtown Asheville. To learn more about this and other events sponsored by the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, visit wilmadykemanlegacy.org. To learn more about Thomas Wolfe’s writing and his life in Asheville, visit wolfememorial.com.