With Good Reason

July 13th, 2013

haints-clint-mccown-hardcover-cover-artA tornado that devastated Fayetteville, Tennessee the week author Clint McCown (Virginia Commonwealth University) was born is the setting for his latest award-winning novel, Haints. The real-life tornado reached wind speeds up to 260 miles per hour and damaged or destroyed 1,820 buildings. Also: Biologist Wally Smith (University of Virginia College at Wise) fell in love with hiking when he was in high school. Now he and his biology students have created online trail guides for others to explore the beauty of the Appalachian foothills. And: The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas, but little is known about the behavior of this endangered creature. Marcella Kelly (Virginia Tech) spends four months each year in Belize studying jaguars using camera trapping. Also featured: Anthropologist Peter Metcalf (University of Virginia) spent part of the 1970s living in the longhouse communities of Borneo. The longhouse was the center of life for the Orang Ulu people of Borneo, but the destruction of the Indonesian rain forest has destroyed that way of life.

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A Virginia writer has just won the Midwest Book Award for his novel set in small-town Tennessee.  After a tornado, the tiny Southern town must deal with the ghosts of its past–both real and imagined.  Allison Quantz has more.