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ReadWNC Series – Guests on Earth

07/26/2022 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) for the second of three events in our ReadWNC series! With authors and historians, we will explore the facts behind the fiction in these books centered in WNC. We encourage you to read the books in advance and bring your own questions to the discussion. You can find all three books at Malaprop’s Bookstore here in Asheville. This event airs live via Zoom, Tuesday, July 26 from 6:00-7pm.

Our series continues with Lee Smith’s novel Guests on Earth, set at Asheville’s Highland Hospital during the period when Zelda Fitzgerald resided there, before she and eight other women perished in a terrible fire in 1948. Smith says: “In this novel I offer a solution for the unsolved mystery of that fire, along with a group of characters both imagined and real, and a series of events leading up to the tragedy. My narrator is a younger patient named Evalina Toussaint, daughter of a New Orleans exotic dancer. Evalina is a talented pianist who connects to Zelda on many levels as she plays accompaniment for the many concerts, theatricals, and dances constantly being held at Highland Hospital.”

About the Presenters:

Dr. Alaina Doten is the executive director of the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. She has a PhD in history and art history from the University of Melbourne.

Máire Martello is the author of Stepping Out With Scott and Zelda: Touring the Fitzgerald’s Montgomery.


Tickets: $5 for WNCHA members/$10 for general admission. We also have two no-cost, community-funded tickets available.

Note* If you have already registered for the entire series, you do not need need to register for this individual event. You will automatically be added as an attendee.

Register Here

For questions or more information email Trevor Freeman at


Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)