Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Kim Green

The Not-So-Open Road

Candacy Taylor documents the revolutionary guide that helped black travelers navigate a segregated America

In Overground Railroad, Candacy Taylor conjures the menacing byways and backwaters black Americans traveled in the era of Jim Crow — and the revolutionary guide that lit their way. Taylor will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 17 and at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis on February 27.

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Merry Christmas! You’ve got Cactus Man

Sometimes a community needs a Christmas tradition all its own

He appeared at my threshold late one night, uninvited: Cactus Man, a ceramic figure in biker regalia, planted with a suggestive succulent. What began as a gag gift from my Ultimate Frisbee teammates grew into an outrageous ritual that, for our little tribe, came to embody the Christmas spirit.

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Full of Grace

Sonja Livingston recounts her search for a missing Virgin Mary statue and her own mislaid faith

In The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion, Sonja Livingston frames a spiritual quest to rediscover the Catholic faith of her childhood with a literal search for a lost Virgin Mary statue. Livingston will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on November 24.

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One for the Road

Emily Wallace’s Road Sides serves up a philosophy of adventurous eating and exploration.

In Road Sides, author and illustrator Emily Wallace offers roadtrippers a fanciful guide to the back roads of the American South. But at a deeper level, the book is a meditation on Wallace’s ethos of exploration. Wallace will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on 10/22 and The Bookshop in Nashville on 10/23.

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Older Ways of Doing Things

John Coykendall recounts a life’s work safeguarding rare heritage crops and traditional farming methods

In Preserving Our Roots, John Coykendall documents his decades-long quest to save heritage seeds and preserve a record of a rural way of life that he fears will be lost forever. Coykendall will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 11-13.

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Fields of Dreams

Patriarchal mores and the ghosts of genocide haunt a Cambodian farming family

In Three Flames, novelist Alan Lightman weaves together a rural Cambodian family’s stories, as each struggles against poverty, the wounds of war, and rigid societal expectations. Lightman will discuss the book at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis on September 19.

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