Jeff McCord

Over the past fifteen years, Jeff McCord has published short stories and essays in a wide variety of periodicals. In his work as an editorial columnist for two Tennessee newspapers, McCord has also written over two hundred columns. Born and raised in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Jeff McCord now lives with his wife and three children in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Published by Twilight Times Books, Jeff McCord’s debut novel is Awkward Grace:

In the small African nation of Burundi, a government incited massacre makes Mevin Ntwari a refugee. In the hills of East Tennessee, a reluctant sense of duty compels Ben Bellamy to lead his church’s outreach committee. And somewhere between these two events faith inspires an unlikely connection.


Not all of Mevin’s family escapes the horror of genocide, but along with his brother he finally makes his way to America. Waiting for him is Ben, a man whose natural goodness outshines the obstacles inherent in welcoming a stranger to Appalachia. Having only honest hearts in common, the men struggle to find their way together. But through a sort of awkward grace, the men uncover a friendship that “only poets and old cowboy movies” seem to understand. With Ben’s help, Mevin thrives in his new country. And when Ben becomes ill, Mevin becomes his salvation.


The story is representative of the thousands of Burundian and Rwandan refugees who escaped their countries’ genocides and with the help of ordinary people made new lives in America – even in Appalachia.



Awkward Grace can be ordered from your

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Available April 2008. ISBN: 1-933353-17-1 224 pages/trade/5x8