See you at 6pm, Asheville! ⛰👋🏻#Repost @malapropsbookstore with @repostapp
It isn’t often that we can offer an absolutely FREE event with such HUGE literary names: @bakerkline & @wileycashauthor ....this is going to be amazing! #apieceoftheworld#orphantrain#thelastballad
Book 9, 2018: The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved Cash's debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home. His writing is stark, yet exquisite. This novel focuses on the labour movement in the American South circa 1929, based on the true story of Ella Mae Wiggins.
Has #bookstagram made me pick better books or have I just gotten lucky so far in 2018?
Title: The Last Ballad
Author: Wiley Cash
This book left me speechless, but I’m probably biased. I’m a sucker for North Carolina fiction and books set during/based on real events. Combine that with this author’s powerful storytelling and I’ve got a new addition to the short list of books I want to recommend to everybody.
I have now read every book by Wiley Cash and officially love his writing. I deeply connect with his characters and am so happy to see the south I know portrayed accurately (mind you the book is set mostly in the 1929). The south has had progress, but the characters in The Last Ballad are so similar to the real people I have decided to dedicate my time and energy to serve, the elderly. Seniors in the south are often stereotyped as racist and bigoted (and some are), but I see so much kindness from my seniors on a daily basis and it inspires me to be a better person.
“There is an old saying that every story, even your own, is either happy or sad depending on where you stop telling it. I believe I'll stop telling this one here” .
Like many people, I didn’t know anything about Ella May Wiggins until I read this book. She was a poor, uneducated mill worker in North Carolina who earned a meager $9/week in exchange for relentless labour that routinely steals fingers and wrecks lives. When union leaflets started circulating, Ella May had a taste of hope, a yearning for a better life for her kids. She attended one meeting not knowing that she would be the face and voice of the union, singing folk songs to rouse the strikers (more on my highlighted stories)
It had multiple point of views which all came together nicely in the end, creating depth and dimension. I liked that it highlighted many topical issues and it’s nuances. It was much more than just factory work conditions. Cash tackled racial discrimination in America’s south, the dynamics of the ‘white-trash’ community, wealth inequality and communism. I’ve talked about communism before on my instastories (and got thrashed for it!) but it was interesting to find out that the communist party was one of the most outspoken advocate for the abolition of Jim Crow laws, an end to lynching, and the rights of workers to demand fair wages and safe working conditions. .
I do feel that the story needed to show more of the power that Ella May finds through her lyrics and the effect her singing had on the strikers. Though it is a fictionalized account of Ella May’s life, I was slightly disappointed the author almost halved the number of kids she gave birth to. It does bring the question of whether authors have ‘poetic license’ to edit historical events/key personalities. That aside, I think as a child of the south, Wiley Cash did a pretty brilliant job in reviving the memory of a phenomenal woman who was a workers’ rights activist, civil rights activist and a feminist way before those terms were staples of the American progressive movement .
Many thanks to @faberbooks for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Welcome to 2018, where my resolution is to actually get back to reading regularly! 🙈 Queue this beautiful piece of nonfiction which has me completely engrossed. Ella May's life paints a picture that is timelessly poignant and utterly heartbreaking. This was a lucky impulse purchase for a book club I just started, and it's turning out to be a perfect book to start the new year. It's a reality check to remember how fortunate I am and how much I take for granted. 1.4.18 #reading#newyear#betterme#resolution#bookclub#icr#bookstagram#bookcover#nonfiction#wileycash#thelastballad
I’m sharing my thoughts on 6 books I read last month Check it out 👆🏻. Still chugging along on my GoodReads reading goal. I think I can, I think I can!🚂📚🚂📚 (http://www.momadvice.com/post/november-2017-must-reads)
Yesterday, Ms. Davis, my kindergarten teacher, came to see me. When I was a child, she was the voice of aspiration and personal responsibility. I was only 5 or 6, but I knew and still know that this is what she taught and what she expected of her students. I have two girls slightly younger than I was then, and I hope they have many Ms. Davises. I'm so fortunate to have had mine. #wileycash#thelastballad
~The Last Ballad ~
In 1929, a pregnant single mother with five children played a pivotal part in the strikes of southern textile mill workers. After losing four of her nine children and being abandoned by her husband, Ella May Wiggins worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for a $9 weekly paycheck. They were protesting not just low wages but also filthy, unsafe working conditions and extreme production requirements. Ella was white, but lived in an African American community, comprised of small shacks and relied on a neighbor to look after her children. Her friendships with her neighbors, many of whom were fellow mill workers, aided her in recruiting them for an integrated protest. Ella serenaded strikers with her protest ballads such as: "A Mill Mother's Lament":
We leave our homes in the morning
We kiss our children goodbye
While we slave for the bosses
Our children scream and cry... But understand all, workers
Our union they do fear
Let's stand together, workers
And have a union here
This novel tells Ella May`s story through the eyes of many different characters. I have to say, I did not always like the players in this story, but it’s to be expected that the characters are natural, flawed, and in some cases a bit seedy too. There are the greedy mill owners, the corrupt law men, and the zealous union leaders, among others. Ella May is gritty, tough, and also brave to lay everything on the line for the union's cause and justice.Tension builds as events progress towards the climax of the Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, NC. The author brings to light a woman and her contributions to workers rights that have been a quiet if not forgotten part of American history.
Thanks to Bookperk Page Turners & @williammorrowbooks for an ARC to review.
#thelastballad#wileycash#igreads#historicalfiction ❤unite #historicalfiction#americanhistory#bookish#booknerd#readersofinstagram#bookstagramer#bookphotography#booksofinstagram#booklover#bookaddict#bibliophile#bookcover#bookworm#bookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookblogger#bookreview
If you're looking for an amazingly comfortable pair of boots I can vouch for the Earls from @tecovas. I left Spokane at 9 am on Friday and missed my connection in Salt Lake City and didn't arrive home in North Carolina until 11 am on Saturday. I spent a little more than 24 hours in these boots, walking all over Salt Lake City, visiting @kingsenglishbookshop, seeing the Mormon Temple, and catching a @utahjazz game before taking a redeye home. These boots kept me comfortable and happy during my nonstop travel and walking, and when I arrived home and took them off after 24 hours I looked forward to putting them on again. #wileycash#thelastballad#tecovas#boots
My phone storage told it was time to catch up on the absurd amount of podcasts I had downloaded so my reading time was overtaken for a couple weeks, but I am so happy to be spending this time in the park with this book taking me to 1929 North Carolina.
While leafing through the latest edition of Our State magazine, we saw this feature on author Wiley Cash, who just happens to be scheduled for a book signing at our local Barnes & Noble November 17. That night, a portion of the proceeds will go to our non-profit if you let them know that you're there for the Historical Association bookfair! You may also order online from 11/17 - 11/22 and enter the bookfair ID #12238267
Cash's latest book takes a real-life look at Ella May Wiggins in mill town Bessamer City in the late 20s as she fights for better working conditions and a better life. Join us in November 17 at B&N in Hickory, NC! @wileycashauthor @ourstatemag @barnesandnoble #booksigning#thelastballad#milltown#nonprofitlife#hickorync#loraymill#catawbacounty#828isgreat
This Thursday, we’re throwing it back to last week’s event with staff favorite Wiley Cash. His new book, THE LAST BALLAD, tells a lost-to-time tale of poverty, equality, and activism, all set in Cash’s beloved Gastonia, NC. Visit the shop for a signed copy of #TheLastBallad , and check out our blog for an insightful Q&A with Wiley. | #tbt#authorevent#bookstagram#supportindies
Thank you, Phoenix Women's Board, for giving me the opportunity to spend two days in the desert with wonderful people like yourselves and @adrianatrigiani @roccodispirito #davidgrann & #craigjohnson . Flying home to my sweet family for some Halloween time before I hit the road again. #wileycash#thelastballad
Such a cozy looking combo here.
Thanks to @williammorrowbooks for the copy!
The Last Ballad by @wileycashauthor (released October 3rd)
"Set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, that chronicles an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice."
This was a beautifully written book that captures the violence and hardships that one woman went through in her fight to bring justice. This is a work of historical fiction focusing on the labor strike in a mill town of North Carolina in the 1920s. .
Ella May Wiggins played a huge role in the fight for better pay and more safety in mills. The characters come to life and the reader is thrust into their world. This was definitely an immersive read.
I give this one 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5!
My full review will be up on my blog later tonight!
Ease into the week with a clip from @wileycashauthor's new novel, The Last Ballad.
Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find.
When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.
Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the tragedy that befell Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929.
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Listen to an audio clip of The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash! This haunting tale is available now. (And watch today's Story for pics of Wiley on book tour.) #bookish#audiobook#thelastballad#booksagram#bookclubs
#Repost @wileycashauthor (@get_repost)
A packed house for @radneyfoster and me, and a podcast with @riverjordanlife for Clear Story Radio. Pretty good day in #Nashville at @sofestofbooks. #wileycash#thelastballad