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Author Sharon Hatfield reads from her book about a 1935 Virginia murder trial

Hatfield_t.jpgBOONE—Journalist and teacher Sharon Hatfield will read from her book “Never Seen the Moon: The Trials of Edith Maxwell” Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in Carol G. Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114 at Appalachian State University.

The book is an investigation into the sensational trial of Edith Maxwell from Pound, Va., who was accused of killing her domineering father in 1935. The unresolved crime made an instant celebrity of the 21-year-old schoolteacher.

The free event is sponsored by Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences and Center for Appalachian Studies.

Hatfield completed a master of fine arts degree at Goucher College and an M.S. in journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She teaches communications and women’s studies at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, and is an editor for the Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.

Author Lee Smith wrote, “Sharon Hatfield’s ‘Never Seen the Moon’ is a real page-turner of a book. I literally couldn’t put it down. Yet this whodunit of the first order also features impeccable research as well as clear and colorful writing. I believe it is the best book ever to come out of our corner of southwest Virginia—the most readable, the most comprehensive. Serious issues are dealt with here: women’s rights, or the lack of them; the stereotypical images of Appalachia which appeared in the press; social, religious and economic conditions in the coalfields; the legal system. But the human drama and mystery of the Edith Maxwell case makes this book read like a novel.”

Hatfield received the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Celebration of Appalachian Writing Award (2006) and the W. D. Weatherford Award for Non-fiction in Appalachian Studies (2005) for “Never Seen the Moon.”

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