Book Set Along Ohio River Up For Award

Author Jaimy Gordon, whose current novel, “Lord of Misrule,” is set at a fictional racetrack along the Ohio River south of Wheeling, has been nominated for another prestigious award.

The Associated Press reported last week that Gordon’s novel is among the five nominees for the PEN/Faulkner prize. The other finalists are works by authors Jennifer Egan, Deborah Eisenberg, Eric Puchner and Brad Watson.

The winner, who receives $15,000, is to be announced Tuesday, March 15, less than a week before Gordon is scheduled to appear at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling.

“Lord of Misrule” has already won the National Book Award for fiction.

Gordon will visit the Ohio County Public Library to discuss her new novel during a special edition of the Lunch With Books series at noon Monday, March 21. Copies of “Lord of Misrule” will be available for purchase from Words & Music bookstore of Wheeling.

A Baltimore native, Gordon now lives in Michigan and has family in the Ohio Valley, which she describes as “a kind of second home – the rags of fog from the river, the fragile, chocolaty earth and red dust and the close-packed hills.”

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Continuing in a literary vein, the Ohio County Public Library will play a prominent role in Wheeling’s first Arts Festival to be held in August.

Sean Duffy, coordinator of adult programming, said library guests will include critically acclaimed Wheeling authors Keith Maillard, George Fetherling and Marc Harshman, along with playwright Sean O’Leary and a number of additional local writers.

It will be a grand and memorable occasion to have that many fine writers, all with Wheeling connections, appearing at the same venue.

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Meanwhile, Katherine J. Leisering of Parkersburg, formerly of Wheeling, has won writing awards in two international contests.

She is a former professor of communication at West Virginia Northern Community College. She also taught at Bethany College earlier in her career.

Leisering received an honorable mention in the 2010 Soul-Searching Writing Contest, spnsored by the National League of American Pen Women, Nob Hill branch (San Francisco). She won for her essay, “Peg O’ My Heart,”‘ a tribute to her mother, Margaret Leisering, former Wheeling resident and organist and choir director at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Leisering was also one of four top winners in the 2010 Robert Benchley Humor Writing Contest for her essay, “Poem Authenticated by Loone.” The contest is sponsored annually by the Robert Benchley Society of Boston.

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Kudos go out to all of the talented singers and musicians participating in the outstanding opening concert in the Stained Glass Series at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling last Sunday, Feb. 27.

Featuring the most famous and well-loved works of French composer Gabriel Faure, the singing was superb and complemented by fine organ and piano accompaniment. Special mention should be given to soloist Dr. David Rudari, music director of the Cathedral of St. Joseph; guest organist Dr. William Haller, music director of Edgwood Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wheeling, and to all the singers and conductors from West Virginia University’s music program.

We’re eagerly awaiting word on the other installments in the Stained Glass Series at the cathedral.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: