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Clyde Edgerton spoke with Faith & Leadership about storytelling and imagination, teaching and preaching, how story-telling assumes uncertainty, as well as about the fascination of relationships that continue to inspire his own writing.
Edgerton, who teaches at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Three of his novels have been made into movies and five have been listed as New York Times Notable Books. The plot of his first novel, “Raney,” revolves around the marriage of a Free Will Baptist and an Episcopalian. His latest book is “The Bible Salesman,” about the adventures of a Bible salesman and a car thief.
Edgerton grew up in a family with 23 aunts and uncles and was inspired to be a writer after hearing Eudora Welty read “Why I Live at the P.O.” What he heard in that story was the beauty and simplicity of the particular details that create relationships between people. His nine novels are filled with this kind of Southern storytelling.