Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Two Nations in Thy Womb

The arrival of mixed-race twins stirs local violence in Eleanor Henderson’s The Twelve-Mile Straight

The surprising appearance of twin newborns—one dark-skinned, the other pale and freckled—creates upheaval in a Depression-era South Georgia community. Eleanor Henderson will discuss The Twelve-Mile Straight at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15.

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The Stench of Slavery

Ben H. Winters creates an alternate history in which the Civil War never took place

In the alternative history Ben H. Winters creates in Underground Airlines, slavery has flourished in the Hard Four—Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and a unified Carolina—because it is essential to the economic prosperity of the plantations. Winters will appear at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15. Festival events are free and open to the public.

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Burn Me Anew

A man confronts a legacy of abusive therapy in Nick White’s How to Survive a Summer

At the center of Nick White’s striking debut novel, How to Survive a Summer, is the burden of an unconfronted trauma at a long-defunct “gay conversion therapy” camp. White will discuss How to Survive a Summer at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15.

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Book of Truths

Leah Weiss offers a bittersweet portrayal of an Appalachian community circa 1970

At times Leah Weiss’s debut novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise, reads like an Appalachian Rashomon, with multiple voices describing similar events in the tiny community of Baines Creek, North Carolina. Weiss will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on September 21 at 6 p.m., at Parnassus Books in Nashville on September 23 at 2 p.m., and at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15.

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A Stranger in Her Own House

Daren Wang’s The Hidden Light of Northern Fires continues a fine tradition in historical fiction

Daren Wang’s debut novel makes it clear that the sin of slavery was never only a Southern thing. Wang will discuss The Hidden Light of Northern Fires at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis on September 20 at 5:30 p.m., and at the 2017 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15.

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The Uncertainty Principle

In Nicole Krauss’s Forest Dark, two Americans journey to Israel to resolve personal crises

In Forest Dark, Nicole Krauss tells parallel stories of American Jews who lose their ways and travel to Israel to re-discover life’s purpose. Nicole Krauss will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 13-15.

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