It’s not every day that a major New York press launches a book in Catawba County, so tomorrow may be a first.
Novelist Susan Woodring of Drexel, NC, will unveil Goliath, from St. Martin’s Press at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Conover Branch Library. Conover is part of the Catawba County Library system, where I work. I’m excited to introduce her reading tomorrow evening.
I’m thrilled that she agreed to unveil her novel about the furniture industry at this branch. You see, Goliath revolves around the waning American furniture industry, so what better place to debut the book than in a former furniture factory building. Conover’s library recently relocated to space previously used by United Veneer Company and Broyhill Industries.
I first met Susan in a writing class at Caldwell Community College 12 years ago. I know the year was 2000 because our instructor, Julie Howard, recommended that I attend the Wildacres Writers Workshop that summer, which I did.
What I didn’t know is that Julie had urged Susan to consider an MFA degree, which she also did. Susan was among the first cohort to enroll in the Queens University MFA in creative writing program. Susan and I lost track of one another for about 10 years. During that time she churned out a novel, a story collection, and was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and was a notable mention in Best American Short Stories 2010.
That’s way more than beginner’s luck. Susan is a major talent. You’ll know that from page one of this amazing novel. I do believe that Goliath will is about to catapult her to the upper echelon of North Carolina’s literary world, a daunting thing indeed in the “writingest state,” but it will be an honor well-deserved.
Congratulations, Susan. You ARE the woman!