Nonfiction

Spirit of Resurrection

In his memoir, The Wind in the Reeds, Wendell Pierce reflects on his lifelong devotion to art, family, and New Orleans

by Emily Choate

September 3, 2015 In his new memoir, The Wind in the Reeds: a Storm, a Play, and the City that Would Not Be Broken, New Orleans native Wendell Pierce retraces his path through the worlds of art, family, and social change. Known for his nuanced performances on The Wire and Treme, Pierce brings an actor’s empathy to this complex but ultimately hopeful account of New Orleans after Katrina. Pierce will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Thursday, 3 September 2015

Feathers and Hammers

Cecelia Tichi paints a portrait of Jack London as a champion of progressive causes

by Aram Goudsouzian

September 2, 2015 Jack London was a writer and a fighter. As Vanderbilt professor Cecelia Tichi notes, London’s writing worked to fight against the wealth inequality and labor exploitation of his day. Tichi will discuss Jack London: A Writer’s Fight for a Better America at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Poor Little Rich Girl

Irrepressible is Emily Bingham’s exploration of the scandalous life of her great-aunt

by Peter Kuryla

August 31, 2015 Irrepressible: The Jazz Age of Henrietta Bingham by Emily Bingham recovers the fascinating story of the author’s great-aunt, a violet-eyed, cherub-faced beauty who captivated social and cultural elites on both sides of the Atlantic with her hard-drinking, bohemian ways. Bingham will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Monday, 31 August 2015

A Painful History Hidden in Plain Sight

Kristen Green’s new memoir tells the shameful story of Prince Edward County’s response to integration

by Clay Risen

August 25, 2015 Kristen Green’s new book is a hybrid approach—part personal history and part scholarly research—to the decision to block integration in Prince Edward County, Virginia, by shutting down the school system. Green will discuss Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Women of the Past Come Alive

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times sheds new light on the history of the Volunteer State

by Brenda Jackson-Abernathy

August 20, 2015 With the second volume of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, editors Beverly Greene Bond and Sarah Wilkerson Freeman have published the highly-anticipated companion to their first book by the same title, which appeared in 2009. Bond and Freeman will discuss Tennessee Women at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 20 August 2015

Turning Prayer Into Action

Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir tells the story of her work, with the Christian rock band Jars of Clay, to bring clean water and blood to tens of thousands of Africans affected by HIV

by Sarah Norris

August 18, 2015 Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir, One Thousand Wells, tells the story of how she—along with members of the Christian rock band Jars of Clay—founded Blood:Water, a nonprofit organization that advocates for AIDS clinics and clean water in African communities. On August 24, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. Nardella will appear at the Nashville Public Library in conversation with Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay. She will also appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville, on August 26, 2015, at 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What Happened to Us?

In Barefoot to Avalon, David Payne meditates on his brother’s death, his family’s tragedies, and his own shattered psyche

by Sean Kinch

August 13, 2015 David Payne has always written about his family’s adversities, though only through the veil of fiction. In his new memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, he steps around the curtain to tell the real story of his brother’s death and his family’s history of self-destruction. Payne will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 13 August 2015

Poet Laureate of Point Breaks

Barbarian Days is an elegant ode to surfing by New Yorker writer William Finnegan

by Ed Tarkington

August 10, 2015 In the late 1980s, when New Yorker writer William Finnegan started filing dispatches from the hottest conflict zones in the world, few readers could have guessed that the seasoned war correspondent had honed his reportorial skills by travelling the globe in search of the perfect wave. Finnegan will read from his new memoir, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 10 August 2015

In Praise of Imaginative Knowledge

In The Republic of Imagination, Azar Nafisi argues for enlightenment through literature

by Maria Browning

August 7, 2015 Azar Nafisi is a devout believer, to put it mildly, in the transformative power of literature. In her 2003 bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, books are a spiritual lifeline amid the horrific violence and repression of post-revolutionary Iran. In The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books she considers whether they can serve a similarly critical purpose here. Nafisi will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Friday, 7 August 2015

A Caregiver’s Tale

Bettyville is George Hodgman’s moving memoir of life with his elderly mother

by Michael Ray Taylor

August 4, 2015 What happens when a gay editor in his fifties leaves New York City to care for his ninety-year-old mother in the dying town of Paris, Missouri? In George Hodgman’s elegant memoir, Bettyville, the result is humor, a monumental battle of wills, and a moving reflection on the meaning of family. Hodgman will discuss Bettyville at the twenty-seventh annual Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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