Lee Maynard was born and raised in the hardscrabble ridges and hard-packed mountains of West Virginia, an upbringing that darkens and shapes much of his writing.
Maynard's novel, CRUM, was the first original fiction published by Washington Square Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In its first month of publication, the novel rose to No. 8 on the Doubleday Best Seller List and was nominated for the Penn Hemingway Award. The novel also was published in England and Norway, and has been taught in English literature classes in a score of prestigious universities. Sometimes called "the book that wouldn't die", CRUM was republished by Vandalia Press (a commercial imprint of West Virginia University Press). CRUM was the first book published by Vandalia and within a year became the best selling book in the history of the university.
The National Endowment for the Arts awarded a Literary Fellowship in Fiction to Maynard for CRUM's sequel, SCREAMING WITH THE CANNIBALS, also published by Vandalia Press. A third volume of the CRUM series, THE SCUMMERS, is in progress.
Maynard's short fiction has appeared in such publications such as Columbia Review of Literature, Washington Post, Appalachian Heritage, and Backcountry. As a journalist, Maynard has been an assignment writer for Reader's Digest for more than two decades. His journalism and non-fiction work has appeared more than 100 times in publications as diverse as The Saturday Review, Dual Sport News, Rider Magazine, Country America, and Christian Science Monitor.
Much of Maynard's work is highly controversial. His novel, CRUM, was banned in his home state and, even today, stirs deep, conflicting emotions among the people of Appalachia. Nevertheless, Maynard's work has been critically acclaimed. His prose has been held in comparison to Hemingway, Twain, Harris, Faulkner and Salinger.
To support his life-long addiction to writing, Lee has led more lives than he can write about (or wants to write about -- or that anyone would believe). Professionally, he has been a military criminal investigator, journalist, magazine editor and publisher, head of an Outward Bound School, college president, merchant banker, ski area designer, and consultant to an international conservation organization.