Wiley Cash's picture

Wiley Cash

USA flag (b.1977)

Wiley Cash is from western North Carolina, a region that figures prominently in his fiction. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly.  Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in English.  He teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. 

He and his wife currently live in West Virginia.

Genres: Mystery, Historical Mystery
Non fiction
Dagger Awards Best Book winner (2014) : This Dark Road to Mercy
Edgar Awards Best Novel nominee (2015) : This Dark Road to Mercy

Wiley Cash recommends
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart (2014)
Peter Swanson
"An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that dares you to turn the next page . . . This novel burns faster and hotter than a lit fuse, and you’ll be feeling its heat long after the explosive ending."
Dry Bones in the Valley (2014)
(Henry Farrell, book 1)
Tom Bouman
"This novel is so precise, so delicate, that I feared turning its pages too quickly may cause the beautiful language to float off the page. But don t be fooled by its precision; this is a tough, edgy thriller that asks hard questions about the destruction of our environment, our local communities, and our families. No smoke is being blown here: readers of smart literary thrillers are going to love this novel. All that to say this: I wish like hell that my name were on the cover of Dry Bones in the Valley."
Fate Moreland's Widow (2015)
John Lane
"John Lane deftly captures the hardscrabble plight of the southern mill worker and the ambitious greed of the southern mill owner in Fate Moreland's Widow. But he does an even better job of capturing the quandary of Ben Crocker, the man precariously stuck in the middle."
Bull Mountain (2015)
(Bull Mountain, book 1)
Brian Panowich
"Panowich stamps words on the page as if they've been blasted from the barrel of a shotgun. Wonderfully rich and evocative."
Strangers in Budapest (2017)
Jessica Keener
"Annie and Will, a young American couple with a new child, repair to Budapest to forge their future and escape their past. What they find is a city smothered by heat and tangled in history. When their paths cross with a mysterious elderly man named Edward Weiss, Annie discovers that she's caught up in a life of tragedy that forces her to confront the losses in her own past. Strangers in Budapest is a beautifully written mystery propelled by well-crafted and fully imagined characters. Atmospheric and ominous, this novel asks us what we're willing to do to start over in a new world when the old world won't let us go."
How to Be Safe (2018)
Tom McAllister
"How to be Safe is a blistering indictment of America's insanity: our devotion to guns, our addiction to masculinity, our obsession with muscling our way toward an exceptionalism built upon our own inflated sense of self. Tom McAllister is an exceptionally talented novelist: funny, biting, and bold. I'd be inclined to call him a satirist if not for the fact that every word in this novel is true."
The Secrets Between Us (2018)
(Bhima, book 2)
Thrity Umrigar
"The Secrets Between Us is a powerful, urgent novel that wields issues of gender and class like a blade. The weight of Bhima's tragic past and her intractable present finds its counterbalance in the most unlikely of characters: Parvati, an elderly homeless woman who is haunted by a history of her own. This intergenerational novel asks hard questions about who we are, who we can become, and what awaits on the other side of our becoming. Thrity Umrigar is known as a bold and generous writer, and The Secrets Between Us only further establishes her reputation."
The Line That Held Us (2018)
David Joy
"Poverty, class, violence, addiction, isolation: No one writes about the issues facing rural America as clearly, as fairly, or as well as David Joy. The Line That Held Us plumbs the depths of friendship and family, uncovering truths that are stamped on the page with blistering realism."
Winter Loon (2018)
Susan Bernhard
"Winter Loon is a brutal, beautiful coming-of-age story in which a young man who loses everything must return to the landscape of that loss to discover what it all means. Susan Bernhard is a writer of incredible grace and power who employs weather and the natural world to plumb the icy depths of her characters’ souls for the warmth of hope, healing, and heart."
The Widows (2019)
(Kinship, book 1)
Jess Montgomery
"Jess Montgomery's gorgeous writing can be just as dark and terrifying as a subterranean cave when the candle is snuffed out, but her prose can just as easily lead you to the surface for a gasp of air and a glimpse of blinding, beautiful sunlight. This is a powerful novel: a tale of loss, greed, and violence, and the story of two powerful women who refuse to stand down."
The Last Woman in the Forest (2019)
Diane Les Becquets
"Diane Les Becquets at her best: unflinching and terrifying, yet buoyed by hope and love. This novel scared me... but that didn't stop me from racing through it....This is a powerful novel, and a story I won't forget."
Barker House (2020)
David Moloney
"These are stories that contemporary America needs to see, from a writer we need to listen to. David Moloney is the best kind of writer, both powerful and graceful, and Barker House is an unforgettable book."
The Office of Historical Corrections (2020)
Danielle Evans
"To say that Danielle Evans is one of the best writers of her generation ignores the simple fact that she is one of America’s best writers, period. And to limit her to her own generation overlooks the keen eye Evans has placed on the continuum of American history and all its attendant complications of race, gender, class, popular culture, and representation. Evans wields these issues like a sly, acerbic blade, and she uses it to cut to the quick."
Tell Me My Name (2021)
Amy Reed
"Tell Me My Name is a glimpse into the future that somehow holds tight to our past. Only Amy Reed could write a novel this dark, this gorgeous, this forward-looking while speaking to our present moment. Reed is a writer of incredible power and terrifying foresight."
All the Little Hopes (2021)
Leah Weiss
"Like all great southern writers, Leah Weiss's magic turns the local into the universal. All the Little Hopes is both a deep-dive into the life of a North Carolina town during WWII and a national portrait of an era with all of its attendant glories and pains. I love this coming-of-age novel - its portrayal of friendship, the complications of family, the threats that outsiders can bring. Lucy Brown and Allie Bert Tucker will break your heart, but Leah Weiss's beautiful writing will sew it back together again."
Every Hidden Thing (2021)
Ted Flanagan
"Every Hidden Thing is a subtle powerhouse of a novel that combines the best of James Ellroy’s noir cityscapes with the narrative impulses of Dennis Lehane. The story of Thomas Archer, an EMT who’s haunted by his past and threatened by those who embody it, is like the dirty, crooked city in which this novel is set: inescapable, pervasive, atmospheric. Ted Flanagan is a powerful and undeniably gifted writer, and his debut novel proves it."
O Beautiful (2021)
Jung Yun
"No one laces a scene with menace or fits more emotional range onto the page than Jung Yun. While serving as a snapshot of our contemporary moment, O Beautiful opens us up to the expanse of a woman's life while walking us through the fast-moving and deeply devastating days of a community's unwinding. With her dangerous yet graceful new novel, Jung Yun proves herself to be a writer who can rip out your broken heart and then repair it before your eyes."
Sugar Baby and Other Stories (2021)
River Jordan
"River Jordan is a holy truth-teller who can make even the bad things in life seem as sweet as sugar. The stories in Sugar Baby and Other Stories are as real as life itself, but the language River uses to coat the pain is something from another world. Writer, storyteller, heart healer. River Jordan is simply the best."
After the Lights Go Out (2022)
John Vercher
"Here is a novelist at the height of his power."
It All Comes Down to This (2022)
Therese Anne Fowler
"Fowler writes like a contemporary Edith Wharton, peeling back layers of class and custom to reveal the mysteries of love, longing, and fate. A stunning tale."
It Dies with You (2022)
Scott Blackburn
"This is a great novel about bad decisions and second chances. Scott Blackburn has a burner of a book on his hands. He's a crime writer whose name you need to remember, and if you read It Dies with You I can guarantee you won't forget it. Fans of Michael Farris Smith, David Joy, Daniel Woodrell, and Chris Offutt, this is the new writer you've been waiting for."
Lark Ascending (2022)
Silas House
"Silas House has always served as an ancestor from the past who has stepped into the present with rich lessons in tow. But with Lark House reveals himself to be an oracle from the future who has come back to illuminate our lived moment with a snapshot of what the years ahead could hold. The vision is terrifying and spare, but in House's capable and delicate telling, it is also beautiful and compelling. Lark marks a stunning turn in House's career, taking him from the Appalachian Mountains to a post-apocalyptic Atlantic crossing, but I have no doubt that readers will follow Silas House wherever he goes, whether into the past or headlong into the future."

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