Ellen Malphrus brings “Untying the Moon” to Live@Lanier

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ellen Malphrus presents her debut novel, “Untying the Moon” to book lovers at Lanier Library, 72 Chestnut Street, Tryon on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 5:30-7 p.m.  Malphrus, a poet, storyteller and teacher, brings us Bailey Martin, the novel’s main character, who has been described as “a lot like Malphrus.”

New York Times best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe says, “The dolphin-haunted Carolina coast of Ellen Malphrus’ masterful, lyrical debut novel ‘Untying the Moon’ brings us deeply into the natural wonders of the Low Country.

“Like the adventurous and near-mythical wandering heroine Bailey Martin, readers will not be able to resist the magnetic pull of Malphrus’ loving depictions of the landscape, its marvelous inhabitants, both human and animal alike, and its welcoming embrace that always and truly feels like coming home.”

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Bailey Martin is in perpetual motion – a child of the South Carolina Low Country tides, being pulled to and from a reckoning with destiny. A marine biologist by training and an artist by dedication and talent, Bailey is a woman of contradictions, at once a free-spirited adventurer giving deeply of herself to environmental causes and familial loyalties, but also consumed by primal, isolated appetites and dangerous attractions. Restless and troubled, Bailey chafes at her existence, becoming uneasy in her success, her life, and her own skin.

“Untying the Moon” is a vibrant tale of self-discovery, approaching the realms of myth and lore as readers ride shotgun with Bailey in Blue Ruby, her ’67 Skylark convertible, from Manhattan, down the eastern seaboard, from coastal Carolina to the Alaskan wilderness and back again, all in search of the embrace of love, and finally, of home.

Ellen Malphrus lives and writes beside the May River in her native Carolina Low Country and beneath the Madison Mountains in Western Montana. She studied under esteemed poet and author of “Deliverance,” James Dickey, who was her mentor and graduate director for the MFA she earned at the University of South Carolina. She considers Pat Conroy (1945 – 2016), who wrote the foreword for “Untying the Moon,” her “brother-in-Dickey.”

Since earning her Ph.D. in 20th Century American literature with an emphasis in southern literature, Malphrus has taught literature and creative writing at USC Beaufort.

Spend an evening at Lanier Library with author Ellen Malphrus as she talks about her debut novel “Untying the Moon.” The event is free and open to the public and is made possible by the Kirby Endowment Fund at the Polk County Community Foundation. Refreshments will be served and books for signing will be available for cash or check at the reading.

At Lanier Library’s next event, Tuesday, Sept. 20 at noon, Libbie Johnson and Gerald Pack will lead a discussion on the equestrian history of Tryon and the Foothills. This event is free and open to the public.

For information on these or other upcoming programs, visit lanierlibrary.org or call 828-859-9535.

– article submitted by Susan Brady