A! Magazine for the Arts

Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn McCrumb speaks in Abingdon

September 26, 2017

Best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb lectures about her novel "The Unquiet Grave" Sunday, Oct. 15, as part of her national book tour to promote the book. The event will be held at 3 p.m. at the Washington County Public Library in Abingdon, Virginia.

"The Unquiet Grave" is part of McCrumb's Ballad Series. It is set in 19th century West Virginia and is based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history - the case of the Greenbrier Ghost.

In 1897, beautiful Zona Heaster marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County. Following a hasty wedding, the couple moves 20 miles from her parents' farm.

After weeks of silence from the newlyweds, riders come to tell her parents that Zona has died from a fall. Living on a remote mountain farm, her mother lacked money, influence and education, but is nonetheless determined to get justice for her daughter. A month after the funeral, she informs the county prosecutor that Zona's ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered. An autopsy, ordered by the prosecutor, confirms her claim.

The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts. Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, she reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial. The novel is written from the point of view of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century with his own tragedies yet to come.

The event is sponsored by The Friends of the Library. There will be book sales and signings as well as a reception following the event. For more information, call 276-676-6298 or visit www.wcpl.net.