Caleb Johnson (Treeborne – ASU English)
Meet and Greet: 9:30 am
Event starts at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event is free to the public. Annual Membership $15
High Country Writers welcome Caleb Johnson, author of Treeborne as our speaker for the regular program meeting, Thursday, February 14 at the Watauga County Public Library. Meetings are from 10 a.m. to noon. Programs are co-sponsored by the Library, and the public is invited. His presentation is titled, "Rewarding the Subconscious: Why Writers Should Carry a Notebook."
Caleb Johnson’s debut novel, published by Picador, is an honorable mention for the 2019 Southern Book Prize. It was also one of Southern Living's "Best New Books Coming Out Summer 2018," and one of Library Journal's "Books to Get Now."
Treeborne is a story of Elberta, Alabama in the years from the late 1950s to today. It revolves around the life of Janie Treeborne and those in this sometimes mystical, sometimes sordid, time and place. Janie’s grandfather Hugh Treeborne makes “assemblies,” artworks from found objects and natural materials and his creation Crusoe may have achieved consciousness. The sudden death of Hugh’s widow Maybelle creates chaos in the town and especially for her lover Lee Malone, a black man who was Hugh’s best friend. Then there’s the time Janie orchestrates the kidnapping of her Hollywood-obsessed Aunt Tammie and spends months on the run at only thirteen years old.
Caleb Johnson grew up in Arley, AL, studied journalism at The University of Alabama and earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Wyoming. His writing is forthcoming or can be found in Southern Living, The Paris Review Daily, Literary Hub, The Bitter Southerner, and other publications, and he has been awarded a Jentel Writing Residency, and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in fiction to the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Prior to joining the faculty at Appalachian State University, Johnson worked as a newspaper reporter, a janitor, a non-profit administrator, a middle-school teacher, and a whole-animal butcher, among other jobs. He lives on a former horse farm near Boone, NC, with his wife, Irina, and their dog, Hugo, while working on his next novel.