Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Faithful to the Fantastical

Matthew Baker toys with storytelling conventions in Why Visit America

Matthew Baker’s second story collection, Why Visit America, explores and cross-breeds multiple genres, upending readers’ expectations through alienated characters, fierce conflicts, and surreal settings.

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Of All Places

A Nashville journalist maps a Syrian-American restaurateur’s moving journey to Hendersonville

By turns heartbreaking and inspiring, Jordan Ritter Conn’s The Road from Raqqa recounts in vivid detail the triumphs and grim realities of a Syrian immigrant, Riyad Alkasem, struggling to make a new life in the U.S. while trying to maintain family bonds across the world. Conn will appear with Riyad Alkasem at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Saving What Remains

Poet Natasha Trethewey’s memoir revisits her Mississippi childhood and her mother’s violent death

In Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey returns to the love and pain of her childhood and the trauma of her mother’s murder. Trethewey will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Don’t You Dare Say Nothin’

In Odie Lindsey’s Some Go Home, secrets, lies, and myths collide across generations

Complex strands of cultural and personal history intersect in Odie Lindsey’s Some Go Home, an ambitious debut novel exploring the relationship between private trauma and public strife. Lindsey will discuss Some Go Home in virtual events hosted by the Southern Independent Booksellers Association on August 6 and the Southern Festival of Books, October 1-11.

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A Festival for Readers Everywhere

The 2020 Southern Festival of Books takes its stellar roster of authors online

Julia Alvarez, Yaa Gyasi, Erik Larson, and Natasha Trethewey are just a few of the authors on the roster for the 32nd Southern Festival of Books. Everything’s online this year, and book lovers everywhere are invited. 

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Are You Visiting?

I’d never seen a mosque in the South.

On Eid-ul-Azha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, I knew no one in Nashville. I decided to wear my white shalwar kameez to commemorate the festival. What else could be done?

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