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Local author’s debut book to be published by Penguin Press

BOONEhenion_biophoto_t.jpg—Appalachian State University Department of English lecturer Leigh Ann Henion’s narrative nonfiction book – which focuses on 10 wonder-evoking natural phenomena and the science and mythology that attempt to explain them – has been acquired on proposal by The Penguin Press. The book explores Venezuela’s Catatumbo lightning, the North American monarch butterfly migration to Mexico, Puerto Rico’s brightest bioluminescent bay, and a variety of other phenomena that span the globe.

The Penguin Press is an imprint of Penguin Group, one of the largest English-language trade publishers in the world. Penguin Press authors include John Berendt, Michael Pollen, Henry Kissinger, Alexandra Fuller, Zadie Smith, Alan Greenspan, and Eric Schlosser. The imprint has published numerous New York Times and national bestsellers while amassing a variety of awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the James Beard Award, the Orange Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It specializes in literary nonfiction and select fiction.

Abbreviated excerpts of Henion’s manuscript-in-progress have appeared and are forthcoming in The Washington Post Magazine. Her essays and articles are regularly featured in publications such as Smithsonian, Southern Living, Oxford American, Preservation and Our State. She has received a variety of literary accolades, including a Lowell Thomas Award, and her work has twice been cited in The Best American Travel Writing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Henion has taught in the Department of English since 2005. She is editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Cold Mountain Review, and she recently developed a cross-disciplinary sophomore writing curriculum for Watauga Global Communities, a two-year living learning community at Appalachian.

She holds a B.A. in cultural studies, an M.A. in Appalachian studies, and an M.F.A. in creative writing. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. This is her debut book.