The Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina takes center stage in Dr. Mark Sibley-Jones Civil War novel By The Red Glare (2015). Sibley-Jones, who taught at USC for 15 years, discovered that a campus “lunatic” asylum used for research had been fashioned into a field hospital about the time Sherman set out to occupy Columbia.
A melee of voices narrates his acclaimed debut novel, casting light on what Sibley- Jones calls “a mentally ill culture in the face of impending defeat.”
The book was Pat Conroy’s personal selection this year for his new label: Story River Books. Upon publication, Conroy described the narrative as “a deeply felt human story of love, labor, and liberty.”
Sibley-Jones now teaches at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and USC Upstate. His best friend, writer George Singleton, drew him and his young family to Greenville four years ago. Sibley-Jones believes the current literary talent in the Carolinas is formidable. “There’s a voice coming out of this part of the South that readers connect with,” he says.
A new novel, currently under review, is in the works for Sib-Jo (as his students call him) and two more are near completion. In
the meantime, look for a reading from By The Red Glare in the fall at the new downtown Greenville purveyor M. Judson Booksellers and Storytellers.