Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A Multitude of Elegies

Ayad Akhtar creates a powerful literary assemblage in Homeland Elegies

Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies is a dazzling, genre-busting book, a work of autofiction with the potential to shock us out of our complacency. Akhtar will discuss the book at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Dim Lights, Dark Hallways

In Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, a neuroscientist tries to makes sense of her family’s unraveling

In Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, Gifty, a first-generation American whose family immigrated from Ghana, learns young that religion cannot explain her family’s misfortunes, so she turns to science for answers. Gyasi will discuss Transcendent Kingdom at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Trapped in the Dusk

Erica Waters’ Ghost Wood Song is a suspenseful story about grief, bravery, and growing up

In Nashville writer Erica Waters’ debut novel, Ghost Wood Song, a riveting coming-of-age thriller, Shady Grove sets out on a quest to unearth her family’s most sinister secrets so that she can finally lay the past to rest and protect the ones still living. Waters will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Hardship as Possibility

Contemporary Appalachian writers profile one another in Step into the Circle

Step into the Circle brings together Appalachian writers and photographers to profile some of the region’s beloved literary forces. Contributors Silas House, Lee Smith, Jason Kyle Howard, Wiley Cash, and Mallory Cash will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Grief, Guilt, and Greed

Communing with the dead is good business in Helene Dunbar’s Prelude for Lost Souls

“St. Hilaire was all about guiding the living through contact with the dead,” explains 17-year-old Russ in Helene Dunbar’s new young adult novel, Prelude for Lost Souls. “We simply relayed the words of the dead to those who needed to hear them.” Russ is one of three troubled teens whose lives intersect one summer in a mysterious New York town. Dunbar will discuss the book at YA-hoo Fest, an online celebration of young adult literature hosted by the Southern Lit Alliance in Chattanooga, September 14-17.

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The Whole of a Life

Bobbie Ann Mason gives her heroine a second life in Dear Ann

In her vibrant new novel, Dear Ann, Bobbie Ann Mason imagines the life that might have been for Ann Workman, a graduate student who pursues love and English literature against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s. Bobbie Ann Mason will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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