Oct 2021 Book Program
Time & Location
About The Event
About the Author
Ann Hite, one of Georgia's most influential authors, is President of the Georgia Writers Association. Within the last decade, she has achieved both literary recognition and popular acclaim for her award-winning Black Mountain Series of southern ghost stories told in choruses of women's voices. These female voices speak amid life stresses as well as from beyond the grave. Intergenerational damage done by family secrets and complicated mother-daughter relationships are recurring themes. Ann Hite is considered by her many fans as the Queen of Southern Gothic fiction.
Her debut novel, published at age 51, was a finalist for the Townsend Prize, and she was named a 2012 Georgia Author of the Year - First Novel. That novel not only won literary award; its great popularity garnered a legion of loyal fans who eagerly awaited more stories from Ann Hite about her haunted locales. Developing a Faulknerian sense of place about North Carolina's mountain communities around Asheville, Hite has delivered a satisfying series of Black Mountain books. The fifth novel in the series, the story of Maude Tuggle, is in progress.
About the Book
Where the Souls Go
The third novel in Hite's series, Where the Souls Go can be read alone on its own merits. But, as the publisher says, many of the characters are familiar from Ghost on Black Mountain. Hite revisits the history of the Pritchard family begun there and reveals events left untold there. As reader reviews note, those interested in reading the series may want to begin with Ghost on Black Mountain. Spoilers to the second novel also appear early on in this third novel.
Where the Souls Go is Ann Hite's most complex novel. This story of AzLeigh Pritchard with her mother-daughter relationships is told, like Ghost, in five female voices that speak to the reader in the first person. From the 1925 Prologue to the 1993 Epilogue, the women's narratives move from one to another as well as back and forth in time, like picking up pieces to stitch into a recurring quilt pattern. Indeed, the structure of the novel is based on advice about creating a quilt, and the character of young Annie Todd can sense moments from women's lives in the textiles they leave behind.
When she is ten years old, Annie Todd flees with her unstable mother from her father and his prominent Atlanta family. She finds herself in a small mountain town in North Carolina, come to live with a grandmother she has always been told was dead -- AzLeigh, an absent character from Ghost who had left the mountain under unexplained circumstances. Annie also meets a ghost girl her age who warns her about Pearl -- a young woman keeping Azleigh's house, who befriends Annie but shares an intense mutual animosity with Annie's mother. The novel thus places three generations of Pritchard women together in an increasingly precarious position as their poisonous heritage is completely revealed and takes its full effect.
From the Publisher -- Mercer University Press
About Where the Souls Go
"WHERE THE SOULS GO is Ann Hite’s third novel set in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Readers who loved GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN, Hite’s first novel, will find many of the characters familiar. This book follows three generations of the Pritchard family, not only telling the story of how Hobbs Pritchard became the villain of Black Mountain, but highlighting women’s struggles in Appalachia, beginning in the Depression Era and ending in the mid-sixties."