Born and raised in Lexington, North Carolina, Church earned her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D. degree from UNC School of Law. She has taught writing workshops in a variety of settings, from college classrooms to death row. She lives with her husband, artist Anthony Ulinski, in Raleigh, where she divides her time between writing and law.
Church's first novel, Byrd, won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize and the Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal for Literary Fiction; was a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize and the Balcones Fiction Prize; and was longlisted for the SIBA Book Award and the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction.
One title on the author's list of eleven underappreciated literary masterpieces, as shared at the Huffington Post:
The Call by Yannick Murphy (2011)Read about another entry on the list.
There are books for which my love is too deep and abiding to put into words. This is one. The narrator of The Call is a large-animal veterinarian in rural New England whose routine is upended when his son is injured in a hunting accident. As he searches for the person responsible, he begins to experience visits from UFOs. He delivers his account as if it were a series of veterinary reports. The first paragraph, for example, is organized under the headings Call, Action, Result, Thoughts on Drive Home While Passing Red and Gold Leaves on Maple Trees, What Children Said to Me When I Got Home, What the Wife Cooked for Dinner. This is an original and profoundly moving story of family, animals, community, grief, forgiveness, and spaceships.