Mesha Maren, "Sugar Run"
Mesha Maren, Sugar Run
Thursday, January 10, 7pm
On the far side the view was nothing but ridgelines, the craggy silhouettes rising up against the night sky like the body of some dormant god. Jodi felt her breath go tight in her chest…As much as she had desired to return here, this place was itself a prison of sorts, and she could feel herself dissolving into it. Coming home was like disappearing in a way, she thought, slipping back into the past.
Jodi McCarty was only seventeen when she was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. After her release, she returns to the Appalachian mountains she left behind, searching for someone from the past. The homecoming proves a shock to the system in many ways. When she meets and falls in love with Miranda, the two try to make a new start, which may be impossible in a place that refuses to adapt and change. Sugar Run is the story of a very unique and particular woman, a queer woman from a working class Appalachian background, at once childlike and fierce, blind and wise, and above all else, very full of heart.
Mesha Maren’s short stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, the Oxford American, Southern Culture, Hobart,Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She is the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution.