Humanities Tennessee has just released its list of the award-winning authors set to headline the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, which will be held in Nashville, October 11-13. The roster includes Bill Bryson (One Summer: America, 1927), Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves), Kevin Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller), Ayana Mathis (The Twelve Tribes of Hattie), Jon Meacham (Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power), Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Alan Weisman (Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?), and Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings).
The festival also welcomes Southern favorites such as Ron Rash (Nothing Gold Can Stay)—attending the festival just a few weeks following the movie debut of his bestselling novel, Serena, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence—and Clyde Edgerton (Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers). As a nod to the festival’s noteworthy anniversary, seven authors who participated in the first Southern Festival of Books in 1989 will return for the 2013 festival: Roy Blount Jr., Allan Gurganus (Local Souls), Bobbie Ann Mason (The Girl in the Blue Beret), Jill McCorkle (Life After Life), Cathie Pelletier (The One-Way Bridge), Lee Smith (Guests on Earth), and Alana White (The Sign of the Weeping Virgin).
Additional highlights of the 2013 festival roster include
● Children’s authors (and husband/wife duo) Philip Stead (Hello, My Name is Ruby) and Erin Stead (If You Want to See a Whale), best known for their 2011 Caldecott Medal book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee.
● Renowned young-adult authors Kevin Henkes of Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse fame (here with his new book, The Year of Billy Miller) and Daniel Kirk (Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home).
● Numerous bestselling authors including Ace Atkins (Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland), William Landay (Defending Jacob), Andrew Solomon (Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity), and Jonathan Tropper (One Last Thing Before I Go: A Novel).
● Cookbook author, TV host, and chair of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival Nathalie Dupree (Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking).
● Chuck Palahnuik (Doomed), author of award-winning novel Fight Club, which was made into a popular feature film.
● Literary debut authors Suzanne Rindell with her 1920s-set thriller, The Other Typist, a buzz book that will be turned into a movie starring Keira Knightley, and Ayana Mathis (The Twelve Tribes of Hattie), whose book was chosen as the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.
● Summer blockbuster authors Anton DiSclanfani (The Yohnalassee Riding Camp for Girls), Therese Ann Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald), Amity Gaige (Schroder), Elliot Holt (You Are One of Them), Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni), and Teddy Wayne (The Love Song of Jonny Valentine).
The Southern Festival of Books is a free, three-day celebration of the written word that annually attracts about 20,000 attendees to meet their favorite authors and experience the weekend’s abundance of books, food, entertainment, and culture. The festival is a fixture of fall in the South and has become one of the most popular literary events in the country. Held each year at Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville and at the Nashville Public Library, the festival features a diverse collection of authors to discuss and sign their books. Click here to learn more about the Southern Festival of Books and here to read the full author lineup for 2013.
The Southern Festival of Books is presented by Humanities Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that promotes humanities education across Tennessee. The festival is proudly sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Ingram Content Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Nashville Scene, AWC Family Foundation, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Predators Foundation, Parnassus Books of Nashville, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Memorial Foundation, and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. Join the festival on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @SoFestBooks.
For more updates on Tennessee authors, please visit Chapter 16’s News & Notes page, here.