Leigh Ann Henion, the New York Times best-selling author of Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World, will be the next to read and discuss her works as part of UNC Asheville’s 2016-17 Visiting Writer Series hosted by Wiley Cash. This event, free and open to everyone, will take place at noon on Thursday, Nov. 10 in UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall, in the Laurel Forum.
Phenomenal tracks Henion’s travels to some of the world’s most remarkable natural sights, from the aurora borealis in the Arctic to Catatumbo lightning in Venezuela. She approaches these and other phenomena with awe and wonder, and with the thoughtfulness of a mother struck by her son’s ability to marvel over “ordinary” things like leaves, pebbles and twigs. The book was named an editor's pick by O: The Oprah Magazine, Backpacker, and Barnes & Noble Review. Elizabeth Gilbert called it a "gorgeously written and deeply thoughtful memoir."
Henion, who now lives near Boone, N.C., is a year 2000 graduate of UNC Asheville, and will read from and discuss her work with fellow alum Wiley Cash, UNC Asheville 2016-17 Writer-In-Residence, who graduated the same year. Cash is the best-selling author of This Dark Road to Mercy and A Land More Kind than Home.
"At UNC Asheville we're incredibly fortunate to have a writer of Leigh Ann Henion's caliber as an alumnus, and we're even more fortunate to be able to welcome her home,” said Cash. “She's quickly gained a national reputation as a thoughtful, reflective writer who's willing to step outside her comfort zone in pursuit of the kind of natural wonder that most of us can only imagine."
In recent essays, Henion used her encounter with a hen-thieving coyote to craft a reflection on humans’ place in the food chain in the October issue of Charlotte magazine. In September, The Washington Post featured her examination of the role of music in Macon, Georgia’s culture and history.
UNC Asheville’s Visiting Writer Series will continue in the Spring 2017 Semester with poet Camille Dungy on March 2, and novelist Chinelo Okparanta on April 4.For more information, visit english.unca.edu