Having previously published The Last Ballad (2018) and When Ghosts Come Home (February 2022), Faber has now released Wiley Cash’s early novels A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy for the first time in the UK. A Land More Kind Than Home is a Southern Gothic thriller about the charismatic Pastor Chamblis, whose congregation believes he can perform miracles and heal the sick. But his meddling with snakes and poisons nod towards a dark past. In This Dark Road to Mercy the perils of religious prejudice are traded for sheer criminal greed in a story of abduction and revenge narrated by a trio of alternating voices that keep readers guessing.

Tell us about your bookshelves. 

We’ve got bookshelves at home, in the office my wife and I share, and in the office at the university where I teach. The most interesting bookshelves are in the back of my bedroom closet. When we moved into our new house I built shelves in the back of the closet. If you move my hanging clothes aside you’ll find books.

Which books are your most recent bookshelf additions?

I recently purchased Daphne Palasi Andreades Brown Girls and Johann Hari’s Stolen Focus.

Do you judge people by their bookshelves? 

I try not to, but I do wonder what people do with their time when I don’t see books in their home.

Which is your most treasured book? 

One of my friends got me a first edition of Thomas Wolfe’s 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel. He’s North Carolina’s best-known writer. It’s pretty special.

What do your bookshelves say about you? 

They say that my family and I will read just about anything. Our tastes are dictated by curiosity alone.

What’s the oldest book on your shelf? 

A copy of The Thing at the Foot of the Bed that was mine as a child. My daughters read it now. It’s in shambles, but that just means it’s been well loved.

Do you rearrange your bookshelves often – and where do your replaced books go?

The only reason we rearrange our shelves is to clear out old books to make way for new. We try to not be precious about what to hang on to and what to let go. The unread books take precedence in terms of space.

Do you have any other books from your childhood on your shelf?

I have a couple from college. Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion for example.

Book lender, book giver or book borrower?

I’m a book giver.

Whose bookshelves are you most curious about?

Whatever bookstore I’m about to visit!

Introduced and compiled by Sonia Weir

Wiley Cash
is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last BalladA Land More Kind than HomeThis Dark Road to Mercy and When Ghosts Come Home, the founder of This Is Working, and books editor at The Assembly. He currently serves as writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives with his wife and two young daughters on the coast of North Carolina.
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Instagram: @wileycashauthor

Author portrait © Mallory Cash

Sonia Weir is a contributing editor to Bookanista. She started the Ultimate Reads and Recommendations Facebook group in December 2018, which now has over 700 members from all over the world. The group is inclusive and aimed at every reader, no matter the books, authors or genre.
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