It's Time To Taste The Wine


October 22, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
2540 Lynch Store Rd
Mebane, NC 27302
$20 per person
Iron Gate Winery

                       Meet the author the New York Times calls “A poet of the everyday.”

   Join us for our 4th Annual North Carolina Author Event!



                                            JILL McCORKLE

Time: 2 – 5pm: Program includes light food fare and book signing. Wine is  optional but highly recommended! Jill’s books will be available at the winery courtesy of Purple Crow Books of Hillsborough, NC.

Agenda: 2:00- 2:30 – Check-in

                2:30-2:45 –   Introductions

                2:45 – 3:45 – Jill Speaks

                 3:45 – 5:00 – Book Signing and Food

From the author’s website: Five of Jill’s books have been named New York Times notable books. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Four of her stories have been tabbed for Best American Short Stories and several have been collected in New Stories from the South. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine and The American Scholar among others. Her story “Intervention” is included in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.  An essay, “Cuss Time,” originally published in The American Scholar was selected for Best American Essays.  Other essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Our State, Allure and Real Simple.

McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts, and Brandeis where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years where she also chaired Creative Writing. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at NC State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a frequent instructor in the Sewanee Summer Writers Program


She lives with her husband, photographer Tom Rankin, in Hillsborough, NC.

    Please find below an original book review of Jill’s most recent novel, Life After Life.

It is taken from the NPR Book Review site and published in 2013.  Jill will speak about this recent book and about what she is currently writing.

Life After Life Amid a literary landscape increasingly rife with metafictional and postmodern high jinks, Jill McCorkle’s sixth novel, Life After Life, is as resolutely down to earth and unpretentious as the hot-dog franchise owned by one of her characters. For her first novel in 17 years, McCorkle has dared to write a heartwarmer that takes place largely in a retirement home and stresses the importance of good old-fashioned kindness.

(Oddly, McCorkle and Kate Atkinson both have novels called Life After Life coming out this spring, which is bound to cause some confusion. But their books share little beyond a title.)

Readers of McCorkle’s earlier fiction — including Ferris Beach, Crash Diet and Going Away Shoes — will appreciate another deftly orchestrated symphony of voices. Channeling the residents and staff of the Pine Haven Retirement Facility, in the fictional town of Fulton, N.C., she captures a homespun mix of saltiness, warmth, pathos and humor.

McCorkle’s novel glistens with empathy for quirky, often flawed but above all believably human characters who are trying to navigate challenging relationships with spouses, parents and children. Her gentle wit and sympathetic portrayal of the offbeat and the elderly evoke Anne Tyler as well as several Southern storytellers, including Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Clyde Edgerton and All Things Considered commentator Bailey White. As in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, a not entirely rosy portrait emerges of a small community where people know a lot about each other — though often not the most important things — and where the dead live on in local memory.

The fulcrum of McCorkle’s ensemble cast is Joanna Lamb, a prodigal child who returns home in time to make amends with her dying father (and take over his frankfurter business). Joanna has found meaning for her life as a hospice volunteer, helping people achieve good deaths by compassionately eliciting and recording their memories and last words in a journal — the entries to which make up some of the chapters in this novel. She takes under her wing a pierced and tattooed single mother who is determined to escape her own mother’s legacy of prostitution and suicide, doing whatever it takes — including engaging in a risky affair and giving pedicures at Pine Haven — to give her baby a better life than she had.

One of the more lovable assisted-living residents is Sadie Randolph, a retired third-grade teacher who’s slipping away to dementia but still believes “in dictionaries and manners” and that we’re all “forever 8 years old” at heart. Among her frequent visitors is her all-time favorite student, Ben Palmer, an amateur magician who was all too effective at making his high school sidekick, Joanna, disappear — not just during his magic shows but from his life.

Ben is miserably married to the self-centered, social-climbing Kendra — one of just two characters McCorkle fails to render with any sympathy. Their 12-year-old daughter seeks refuge from her feuding parents with Sadie and her cohorts — who include an outspoken high school English teacher and a recently widowed lawyer from Boston who is drawn to Fulton because it’s the hometown of her long-dead paramour. Each of these characters makes a discovery or connection that demonstrates how life can hold surprises well past our expectations.

While the various stories in Life After Life emphasize “the importance of making peace,” not all of McCorkle’s tales end happily or provide closure — as in life. One narrative strand, which I’ll leave for the reader to discover, is particularly unsettling. Also, the short chapters giving voice to the recently deceased seem superfluous after Joanna’s moving portraits. But the characters in McCorkle’s quaintly touching novel are bound to stay with you after you put it down, giving them a sort of afterlife — or “life after life” — after all.

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Winery Hours
Monday - Friday 12 - 5; Saturday 12-6; Sunday 1-6
2540 Lynch Store Road
Mebane, NC 27302
Phone: 919-304-WINE (9463)
Fax: 919-304-6424

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