Entry

Journey for Joedel (1970)

Although a movie was based on his The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man, Guy Owen considered Journey for Joedel his best novel. For it, he won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The esteemed novelist Walker Percy described Journey for Joedel as “touching, tender, and highly readable.”

Entry

Wayne County (1779)

Wayne County was formed from Dobbs County in 1779 in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain.  Wayne County is named after “Mad Anthony” Wayne, one of George Washington’s most trusted generals.  Goldsboro is the county seat, and Wayne is also home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.  Wayne is also the home of numerous cultural institutions and events.

Entry

Poor No More (1959)

Robert Ruark’s second novel did not sell as well as his first, Something of Value.  Most critics disapproved of the long manuscript, with its controversial topics and vivid descriptions.  After spending approximately four years on the work, Ruark had a different opinion.   

Entry

Dismal Swamp Cannal

The Dismal Swamp Canal, originally chartered in 1790, connects the Albemarle Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1805, the Dismal Swamp Canal created a passage between northeastern North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia. By the mid-1820s, the Dismal Swamp Canal was widened and deepened enough for reliable commercial traffic. As a result, international trade shifted from Albemarle Sound towns, like Edenton, to Norfolk, Virginia.  Today the Dismal Swamp Canal is primarily used for recreational boating.

Entry

Madison County (1851)

Madison County is located in North Carolina’s mountains along the Tennessee border. It was formed in 1851 out of Buncombe and Yancey Counties, and was named for President James Madison.  Marshall, the county seat, was incorporated in 1863.

Commentary

Novel Easily Could Desscribe Political Debates of Today

Fiction is more than entertainment.  It informs readers about the times in which it was written. An Inch of Snow (1964) is such a novel.  It was written by William E. Cobb, a Burke County Republican, who served as a minority leader in the North Carolina Senate and served as the North Carolina Republican Chairman.

Commentary

Echoes From the Past

A recent history column briefly described An Inch of Snow (1964), an out-of-print novel depicting a state legislative race in North Carolina.  It was more than entertainment depicting small-town North Carolina life. The novel’s fictitious speeches by Democratic and Republican candidates reflect the actual economic concerns of North Carolinians in the 1960s.  The arguments offered are often repeated nowadays in print and on air and behind debate podiums and at dinner tables across the state.

Commentary

Guy Owen's Fiction Trancends Its Rural North Carolina Settings

North Carolina native Guy Owen uses his personal experiences growing up to shape his fictional works. Owen’s work is particularly regional, and in many ways local to North Carolina. But in his fiction, he transcends the rural North Carolina setting and addresses broader and more universal themes.