The Friends of the Library do a lot to enhance the Cumberland County Public Library system. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions they bring to the table is bringing noted authors to our community to share their works. Over the course of the year, the organization brings a nsumber of authors to the community, and on Tuesday, July 15, it will host noted North Carolina author Lonnie Busch.
    Busch, who resides in western North Carolina, has gained acclaim for both his writing and his illustrations, but during his visit to the Headquarters Library, he will focus on his latest work,
Turnback Creek, the winner of the 2006 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize. The book focuses on the life of Cole Emerson, a retired heavy equipment operator in a small town.
    By day, Emerson cooks, cleans and tries to make the last days of his dying sister comfortable. But the night belongs to him. Unlike others in his situation, he doesn’t seek out bright lights and large crowds to remind him that he is still alive. Instead, he seeks the solitude of Hardman Lake, where he fishes for bass and puts his own thoughts on mortality and life in order. His routine is suddenly and irrevocably shattered one night on
Turnback Creek when he meets a mysterious girl who reminds him that while he might spend his day surrounded by death, that he is, in fact, still alive, and still has dreams and desires.
    {mosimage}The book has received rave reviews, having been called “a bittersweet tale of a confrontation of one old man with mortality, his own and that of those who love him.”
    Author Jubal Tiner noted that the book is “Part ghost story, part love story, all with the bite of loss, grief and redemption.
Turnback Creek has it all, and Busch’s deft prose brings it palpably to life. It is not to be missed.”
    This offering is departure for Busch, who up to this point has focused on short tories. His works have appeared in several publications, having been a finalist in the World’s Best Short Story Competition in 2004 and earning The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction in 2005.
    More in the realm of popular culture, his illustrations have found their way into Americana, having been chosen for U.S. postage stamps honoring the Olympics in 2004 and a series of Wonders of America stamps in 2006. His most recent, and probably most talked about illustration, was for the cover of Jimmy Buffet’s novel,
A Salty Piece of Land.
    Busch will be reading from his works, as well as talking about them during his appearance at the library. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Headquarters Library and is free and open to the public.

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