Terry Roberts A Short Time to Stay Here

ISBN 13: 9781932158991

A Short Time to Stay Here

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9781932158991: A Short Time to Stay Here

War changes everything that should have been the summer of 1917. The U.S. enters WWI and Stephen Robbins’ beloved Mountain Park Hotel is pressed into service as an internment camp for German nationals, including Hans Ruser and his men. Feisty Anna Ulmann, seeking independence in a male-dominated world, flees south from New York to devote her life to documentary photography in beautiful Hot Springs, North Carolina. Haunted by demons past and present, they face heartbreaking tragedy. Yet together discover the true meaning of imprisonment and escape. Winner: Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, Sir Walter Raleigh Award, Clark Cox Award for Fiction from CSH, James Still Award Finalist 2012, Reviews: Roberts’ novel, an inside-the-camp, character-filled historical drama, draws on the parallel between the fenced-in predicament of the Germans and the psychology of his protagonist and narrator, Stephen Roberts, a man bound by his desperate legacy, despite his education. ... Roberts lets his characters come out in fearless, individualistic ways ... The joyfulness in reading Roberts’ novel comes first of all from identification with his appealing hero. Who doesn’t love a recovering drunk with a heroic core and the capacity to tap a Dirty Harry demon? And ... from a plot that continues to get more complex as it boils. The historical details ... . Sentiment is great, and Roberts plays this instrument splendidly, too. Within the context of Stephen’s ambiguous feelings about his crude, harsh background, Roberts puts forward heroes who have mountaineer super-skills. Stephen takes his lover to the place where Spring Creek meets the French Broad River, so that if you stand in one spot, you can hear a flute and bass symphony. I’d trade a bad guy blow-up for those ... details any day. —Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen Times “We have forgotten that in 1917 thousands of German sailors were our prisoners in the North Carolina mountains, but in this novel Roberts brings to life the historical circumstance and much more. ... He reveals how hatred—national or local—can lead to murder, but also how a man and woman can fall in love anywhere, anytime.” —Doris Betts, author of Souls Raised from the Dead and The Sharp Teeth of Love “There’s so much to like about this novel: the village itself, stretched out alongside the French Broad River, its famous hotel now used to house German civilians during wartime; the man in charge with his many decisions to be made; the woman he meets and how—page by page, month by month, they fall in love.” —John Ehle, author of The Winter People and The Journey of August King “Fiction in the mountain regions of North Carolina and in the mountain culture of the state have formed a significant part of southern literature from Thomas Wolfe through more recent novelists such as John Ehle, Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Charles Frazier, Wayne Caldwell and Ron Rash, to name only a few. With A Short Time to Stay Here, Terry Roberts joins this distinguished company. His story of love on the fringes of a distant yet oddly intrusive war, is brilliantly plotted and rendered in a style both lyrical and concretely realistic, flawless in characterization and with an authoritative command of the history that enfolds it. One suspects, and hopes, that there is much more to follow from this gifted writer.” —Jerry Leath Mills, Editor Emeritus of The Southern Literary Review “In A Short Time to Stay Here Terry Roberts shines a narrative light into a little known corner of modern history, German POWs in World War One in the Hot Springs resort in the mountains of North Carolina. This is a thrilling story of the clash of cultures, of mystery, espionage, revenge, and love. It is a riveting story you will not be able to put down or forget, bringing to life a particular Appalachian time and place, by one of the exciting new voices of Southern fiction.” —Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek and Brave Enemies

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From the Back Cover:

A Love Story. A War Story.

  The summer of 1917 should have been a summer like any other.

Stephen Robbins should have been doing the same thing he'd been doing for years past. As a young boy he'd fled his life in a secluded mountain cove and risen through the ranks to become the manager of the South's finest resort, the elegant Mountain Park Hotel. By all rights, he should have spent this summer as host to some of the wealthiest gentry on the East Coast.
Hans Ruser, German Commodore of the world's largest and most luxurious cruise liner, Vaderland, should have been sailing yet again with his elite passengers to the far corners of the world.
    And Anna Ulmann, captivating and beautiful, should have been at home in her New York mansion planning yet another lavish dinner party for her famous husband and his rich and powerful friends. She should have idled away her spare time by taking perfectly staged photographic portraits of the very same people.
    But war will change everything that should have been in that summer of 1917.
    For the U.S. enters W.W.I. and the Mountain Park Hotel is pressed into service as an internment camp for over 2,000 German nationals, including Ruser and his men. This sudden collision of lives and cultures in the small town of Hot Springs, North Carolina is both frightening and exhilarating. And the unlikely alliance that forms between Hans Ruser and Stephen Robbins will force each to decide just how far they are willing to go to keep peace in the beautiful and isolated mountains.
    Feisty Anna Ulmann, seeking to assert her independence in a male-dominated world, mysteriously flees south to devote her life to documentary photography. When she steps off the train at the Hot Springs depot one sultry summer day, she could not have imagined the passionate journey that will result when she matches wits with Stephen Robbins. Haunted by demons both past and present, they will face heartbreaking tragedy. Yet together they will discover the true meaning of imprisonment and escape.

About the Author:

Terry Roberts was born in Asheville, North Carolina. His direct ancestors have lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina since the time of the Revolutionary War.  In 1917, the setting for A Short Time to Stay Here, his grandparents Julius and Belva Anderson Roberts lived and farmed near Hot Springs, North Carolina in Anderson Cove. Roberts is the author of Thomas Wolfe: Literary Masterpieces Vol. 13 (Gale series) and Self and Community in the Fiction of Elizabeth Spencer (Southern Fiction Studies) as well as numerous books on education reform. Roberts is an internationally known Paideia expert and is the Director of the National Paideia Center. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and family.

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Roberts, Terry
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