Mary J. Messer, author of the Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will read from her book and answers questions from the audience from 3:30-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the WCU Bookstore in Cullowhee.
Messer’s powerful and often disturbing memoir, set in Haywood County in the heart of the Smoky Mountains as well as northern Virginia and New York City, tells of her life as the middle daughter of an abusive moonshiner and his mentally ill wife, the incredible hardship her mother and the four children suffered at her alcoholic father’s hand, as well as the trauma the children suffered from the cruelty of other youth and adults as they grew up.
Robert Morgan, award-winning, best-selling author of Gap Creek and many others and also a WNC native, said:
“Moonshiner’s Daughter is a gripping testimony of one woman’s struggle, and one family’s struggle, to survive against overwhelming odds—financial, social, emotional, physical. This book is a window on a world many of us assume is long in the past. Most of all it is a story of human connection, of victory over poverty, pain, discrimination, the haunting story a woman finding her voice and place. Though heart-breaking at times, this is a book you will not soon forget.”