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Robert R. Morgan Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Robert R. Morgan

Robert R. Morgan

An interview with Robert R. Morgan

A short 'Note to Readers' from Robert Morgan discussing Gap Creek, including the challenge of Julie's voice.

When I began writing Gap Creek I knew I wanted to tell a story loosely based on the first year of marriage of my maternal grandparents. They had gotten married about a hundred years before on Mount Olivet and moved down to Gap Creek in South Carolina. I knew them as elderly people when I was very young. Grandma, who kept me during the day while my mother worked in the cotton mill, died when I was three. I wanted to tell a story about a woman like her, who did heavy men's work on the farm, and spent her life working for others, for her sisters and her husband, her children and grandchildren, the sick and needy of the community.

I tell my students that you do not write living fiction by attempting to transcribe actual events onto the page. You create a sense of real characters and a real story by putting down one vivid detail, one exact phrase, at a time. The fiction is imagined, but if it is done well, it seems absolutely true, as real as the world around us.

The hardest work I did on Gap Creek was trying to get the voice right. Julie, who tells her own story, is not well educated and is not much of a talker. In fact, she feels inarticulate. She feels she expresses herself best with her hands, with her work. The trick was to create a plain voice, with simple, direct sentences, that could express the complex emotions and intimacy of marriage, even poetic experience. When I finally heard that voice in my mind I was able to write the novel rather quickly.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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Books by this Author

Books by Robert R. Morgan at BookBrowse
Chasing the North Star jacket The Road from Gap Creek jacket Lions of the West jacket Gap Creek jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Robert R. Morgan but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • M. Allen Cunningham

    M. Allen Cunningham

    M. Allen Cunningham's debut novel The Green Age of Asher Witherow, set in nineteenth-century Northern California, was a #1 Book Sense Pick and a finalist for the 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Award alongside Marilynne... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Gap Creek

    Try:
    The Green Age of Asher Witherow
    by M. Allen Cunningham

  • Charles Frazier

    Charles Frazier

    Charles Frazier was born in 1950 in Asheville, North Carolina and grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973,  received an M.A. from Appalachian State ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Gap Creek

    Try:
    Thirteen Moons
    by Charles Frazier

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Read-Alikes

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