Sharyn McCrumb discusses the true events behind her novel The Ballad of Frankie Silver. In this series, authors and historians explore the facts behind the fiction in books centered in WNC. 

The Ballad of Frankie Silver is one of McCrumb’s Ballad novels – “set in the Southern mountains, weaving together the legends, natural wonders and contemporary issues of Appalachia. Each story is built around a theme, intended to express an overall idea” according to the author. This novel, set in Burke County, tells the story of the young Frankie Silver, hanged for a murder she may not have committed in 1833. McCrumb notes that this tale involves mountain justice, frontier families, and a contrast between the mountain and lowland South.

About the Presenter:

Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including the New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket, which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness; The Ballad of Frankie Silver and The Ballad of Tom Dooley, exploring the true stories behind two Appalachian murder ballads; and The Songcatcher, a genealogy in music, tracing the author‘s family from 18th century Scotland to the present by following a Scots Ballad through the generations. Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the mountains of western North Carolina, won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature given by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the national Audie Award for Best Recorded Novel. Her books have been named New York Times and Los Angeles Times Notable Books.