Terry Roberts’ direct ancestors have lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina since the time of the Revolutionary War. His family farmed in the Big Pine section of Madison County for generations and is also prominent in the Madison County town of Hot Springs, a consistent setting in his novels. Among his forebears are prominent bootleggers and preachers but no one who, like Jedidiah Robbins, from The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival, combines both occupations.
His debut novel, A Short Time to Stay Here, won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and his second novel, That Bright Land, won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award as well as the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South. Both novels won the annual Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, given to the author of the best novel written by a North Carolinian. As well as being an award-winning novelist, Dr. Terry Roberts is a lifelong teacher and educational reformer. Since 1992, he has been the Director of the National Paideia Center, a school reform organization dedicated to making intellectual rigor accessible to all students. Born and raised near Weaverville, North Carolina, Roberts is the Director of the National Paideia Center and lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Lynn. He has three adult children: Jesse, Margaret, and Henry.
Roberts’ third novel, The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival, was published by Turner Publishing in August of 2018. His latest work, The New Smart: How Nurturing Creativity Will Help Children Thrive, speaks to the challenges of preparing children for their future.