Author casts new light on an old ballad

Sharyn McCrumb, author of the Ballad Series of novels, will read from her new book, The Ballad of Tom Dooley, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.

In this new novel, New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb uncovers new revelations about one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time.

McCrumb returned last year to her critically acclaimed Appalachian Ballad series after an eight-year hiatus. Now, from the pen of this award-winning Southern writer comes the story of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time, The Ballad of Tom Dooley. Although millions may have heard the ballad, made famous by the Kingston Trio’s classic folk song, McCrumb’s research has uncovered a new twist in the tale that is certain to surprise those who think they already know the whole story.

The tale of Tom Dooley recounts a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains in the aftermath of the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, went missing and was later found murdered and buried in a shallow grave on a mountainside. Her lover, Tom, was the prime suspect and hanged for the crime. However, Tom was also involved in a long-time affair with a married woman, Ann Melton, who was jailed as a possible accomplice to the crime after her cousin, Pauline Foster, reported that Ann had showed her where the missing girl’s body was buried.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Reserved seating is available with the advanced purchase of The Ballad of Tom Dooley. For more information, call 828.456.6000.

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