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David Joy writes from the beauty and darkness of his home country in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. His “Appalachian noir” novels — “Where All Light Tends To Go,” (an Edgar finalist for Best First Novel); “The Weight of this World”; and most recently “The Line That Held Us” are deeply steeped in the culture and the landscape of the region — yet the writing and the storytelling is so powerful that it has transcended both region and genre to win national acclaim from critics and readers alike.

Joy is one of the featured authors at the Sisters Festival of Books this month, and will present his work at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, in Room C at Sisters Middle School.

In an interview with The Nugget, Joy reflected on how themes resonate out from the local and particular.

“I think what you’re getting at is something that’s been addressed by lots of writers before me, anyone who was rooted to a particular ground,” he said. “When asked why he wrote specifically of Dublin, James Joyce said, ‘because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world.’ It’s what Eudora Welty meant by, ‘One place understood helps us to understand all places better.’

“At the end of the day, as an artist, you’re trying to do two things: elicit some sort of emotional response and illuminate some aspect of the human condition. As humans, for all the time we spend trying to search out our differences, I’m constantly struck and awed by how similar the experiences are that hold us together.”

Lane Jacobson, owner of Paulina Springs Books in Sisters and an organizer of the Sisters Festival of Books, became friends with Joy when he managed an independent bookstore in North Carolina.

“Anyone who knows or follows me understands that I’m a huge advocate of independent bookstores and the booksellers who make those places something so special,” Joy told The Nugget. “So there’s one in Chapel Hill, North Carolina called Flyleaf that I’ve visited on every book tour. During that time, I’ve gotten to know and love a lot of those booksellers. One in particular, though, became a good friend and that’s Lane Jacobsen. Unfortunately the Old North State has lost one of its greatest booksellers to Oregon, but lucky for y’all he’s running one of your local Indies now. When he told me he was leaving we made a plan to get me out there. Somehow or another, he found a way to make it happen and I’m overwhelmingly grateful.”

As the blog Hillbilly Highways points out, Joy’s “The Line That Held Us” is a book about choices. The choice that Darl makes to hunt on private land while the owner is out of town. The choice he makes to shoot at what he thinks is a feral hog. The choice he makes to pull his best friend Calvin into things when he discovers that it was a person, not a hog, he shot. The choices that man’s brother, Dwayne, makes in reaction to his brother’s killing…”

Those choices are doom-laden and feel inexorable. The propulsive nature of Joy’s storytelling and the compulsive actions of his characters reflect the compulsion Joy feels as a creator.

“Honestly, I feel like that compulsion is absolutely inexplicable. I don’t know why stories come to me,” he said. “Maybe it’s a desire to better understand the world, to feel out what it means to be human. What I do know is that it’s an inignorable feeling. It feels almost terminal, like if I don’t get the words out then it’ll be the end of me.”

Joy’s passion for his writing is matched by a passion for rugged landscapes and fly-fishing waters. He is the author of the memoir “Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey.”

The Nugget asked if he was going to get some fishing in during his trip to Sisters Country, and he replied:

“Well, by god, if somebody will take me! At the very least I’d love someone to take me out in the woods and show me the landscape. That’s my greatest joy.”

David Joy is one of six featured authors who will attend an author’s dinner on Saturday, October 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The three-course meal prepared by Depot Café will be served at Paulina Springs Books and will feature dining with six of the festival’s authors — Joy, Kim Stafford, Joe Wilkins, Kelli Estes, Meaghan O’Connell and Megan Griswold.

There are a few $100 tickets still available for that event, which includes the choice of one book from one of the authors.

Tickets and more information about the Sisters Festival of Books are available at www.sistersfob.com