A voice of the labour movement: Ella May Wiggins and The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

The Last Ballad is based on the life and tragic murder of Ella May Wiggins and the events surrounding the Loray Mill strike that occurred in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1929. Wiley Cash writes about Ella May Wiggins, the singer at the heart of his fictionalised account of the events, along with his own connection…

The Last Ballad: Playlist for the novel by Wiley Cash

Wiley Cash’s third novel, The Last Ballad, is set in and around Gastonia, North Carolina, during the textile workers’ strike of 1929. The central character is Ella May Wiggins, who bravely offered her voice to the union strikes, writing and singing songs which captured the spirit of the labour movement. Here, Wiley Cash selects a playlist…

On facts, fiction and the autobiography by Miranda Doyle

Autobiography is an impossibly difficult genre to define. It overlaps with so much else: fiction; faction; autobiographical novels; creative non-fiction. So in 1975 Phillippe Lejeune tried to set out the stall for first person non-fiction with his ‘autobiographical pact’. He wanted to bolster the line libraries still hold hard to, in order to protect the…