Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Authors in October

Humanities Tennessee previews the 2015 Southern Festival of Books

Humanities Tennessee today announces a lineup of award-winning, bestselling authors headlining the twenty-seventh annual Southern Festival of Books, which will be held in Nashville, October 9-11. The roster includes renowned authors Rick Bragg, Geraldine Brooks, Pat Conroy, David Maraniss, Paul Theroux, Rebecca Wells, Scott Westerfeld, and first-time author David Gregory, former NBC news reporter and Meet the Press host.

The Southern Festival of Books is a free, three-day celebration of the written word that annually attracts 25,000 attendees to meet their favorite authors and become familiar with talented new writers. The festival has become one of the most popular literary events in the country, as guests travel to Nashville to experience an abundance of authors and their books, along with food, entertainment and culture. Sixty publishers, booksellers and nonprofits have exhibitor booths at the event. Authors in the Round provides patrons with an evening of dining and social conversation with the authors.

Held at Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville and at the Nashville Public Library, the festival features a diverse collection of authors for both adults and children, and Parnassus Books provides on-site book sales. This year’s lineup includes more than 180 authors, four Pulitzer-Prize winners, and more than two dozen New York Times bestselling authors.

Look for new fiction from popular authors Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies), Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings), Tom Piazza (A Free State), Padgett Powell (Cries for Help, Various), Ron Rash (Above the Waterfall), and Leah Stewart (The New Neighbor). There will be readings as well from acclaimed debut novelists Tom Cooper (The Marauders), Michael Crummey (Sweetland), M.O. Walsh (My Sunshine Away), Claire Vaye Watkins (Gold, Fame, Citrus), and many others.

Celebrated children’s and young-adult authors include Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Cynthia Lord (Handful of Stars), Matthew McElligott (Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster), Kenneth Oppel (The Nest), Stephan Pastis (Timmy Failure Book 4), Jennifer E. Smith (Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between) and Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea: The Second Book of the 5th Wave).

Cookbook fans will welcome kitchen connoisseurs Tammy Algood (Sunday Dinner in the South), Johnathan Scott Barrett (Rise and Shine! A Southern Son’s Treasury of Food, Family, and Friendships), Bridget Lancaster (America’s Test Kitchen), Ronni Lundy (Sorghum’s Savor), April McKinney (The Outdoor Table) and Nicki Pendleton Wood (Southern Cooking for Company).

A panel featuring Bee Gees drummer Dennis Bryon and Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame member Dennis Dunaway of Alice Cooper will highlight stories from the road in two new memoirs.

There will also be two special themes at this year’s festival. As part of a special track to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, actor Wendell Pierce, best known for his work on The Wire, will discuss The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, a Play, and the City that Would Not be Broken. And Humanities Tennessee will partner with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University to present a special literary track on “Understanding Islam,” featuring Karima Bennoune (Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here) and Azar Nafisi (The Republic of Imagination).

Click here for the full festival lineup and more information about each author.

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, National Endowment for the Arts, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville Public Library, Ingram Content Group, The Memorial Foundation, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Parnassus Books, and the Nashville Scene.

Please join the festival on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter and Instagram at @SoFestBooks.

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