Meet an award-winning novelist at the next Live@Lanier

Published 10:21 am Monday, May 16, 2022

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At the Lanier Library Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 5, at 3 p.m. at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, join award-winning novelist Kathryn Schwille in her fictional town beneath a tragic space shuttle disaster. 


On February 1, 2003, the Columbia Space Shuttle exploded at more than 12 miles above the Earth. In Kathryn’s first novel, the IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards) winner “What Luck, This Life,” townspeople of Kiser, Texas hear “two blasts and the roar of a crashing train.” In the following days, searchers and reporters intrude into the troubled lives of a town already burdened with tensions of class, race, and regrets.

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For example, a father facing divorce finds an astronaut’s remains, a shop owner finds the courage to defend herself against a sexual predator, and an engineer, searching for debris, finds the longings of an old neighbor.


Kathryn says that her book “began as a collection of linked stories [with] the shuttle disaster in every chapter.” She notes imagining and hearing many narrators when writing and couldn’t settle on one to tell the story of the town. “In the end, I was able to knit the narrators together… even though it’s not a traditional novel structure.”


Prior to writing “What Luck, This Life,” Kathryn was an award-winning journalist before moving to North Carolina to be the editor at the Charlotte Observer. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. 


The program is at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon, NC. Reception follows at the Lanier Library, 72 Chestnut Street For more information call 828-859-9535 or visit 


Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio