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The Library Society is thrilled to host author Michael A. Almond for a discussion of his highly anticipated debut novel, The Tannery, a story that combines violent crime, Southern history, and pressing social issues into a gripping novel that is sure to enthrall its reader. Tickets are $10 for CLS members and $15 for nonmembers.
Praise for The Tannery:
“Riveting… In his debut novel, Michael Almond has given us a page-turner. Far more than a legal thriller, though it is that, The Tannery is historical fiction at its finest – a story set near the turn of the 20th Century in North Carolina. Some of this tale will sound disturbingly familiar to readers in the 21st Century, all the more reason to consider its lessons. History can come alive in a great work of fiction. This is one of those times.” – Frye Gaillard, civil rights historian, author of A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s
“The Tannery is tough to put down because the storytelling is so compelling… This book is timely, in that we can reflect on how far we have come today and see the tangible progress we have made. But it also glaringly reminds us that the issues of racism, voter suppression, and economic inequality are still with us, and indeed, to paraphrase a famous author…the past is not yet passed, it is still with us today.” -Harvey B. Gantt, former mayor of Charlotte, first African American student accepted by Clemson University, inspiration for the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture.
About the Author:
Michael A. Almond, a retired international business attorney, was raised in the small town of Pilot Mountain in the Piedmont foothills of North Carolina. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was a Fulbright Scholar in political science at the University of Mannheim, Germany. An avid reader of Southern history and literature, Michael and his wife Helen Ruth live at Almond Springs Farm in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with two horses, three donkeys, and their canine companions, Lucy and Greta. The Tannery is his debut novel.
About the Book:
July 5, 1900, Wilkes County, North Carolina: The beautiful young daughter of tannery owner Jakob Schumann is found dead on the north bank of the Yadkin River, brutally beaten, a skinning knife in her chest. Who killed Rachel Schumann? And why? Ambitious Wilkes prosecutor Vincent Taliaferro has arrested Virgil Wade, a mixed-race boy, and is convinced the case is open and shut. But local lawyer Ben Waterman is not so sure. Ben’s investigation uncovers evidence that undermines the prosecutor’s case and points in an entirely different direction. But can he prove it? Can he convince an all-White, all-male jury of Virgil’s innocence? The Tannery transports readers to the turbulent world of the post-Reconstruction South. Reflecting issues prominent in today’s headlines, themes of Black voter suppression and intimidation, the violence and depravity of vigilante “justice,” and the rise of Jim Crow drive the narrative to its dramatic and surprising conclusion.