Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

The Homeplace on the Plaza

A writer measures her life by October weekends at the Southern Festival of Books

The Southern Festival of Books is the place I came from and the place I return to, and it is the place where my literary forebears live on through the miraculous immortality of books.

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All The Mistakes Families Make

Two small town lovers grapple with an unexpected pregnancy in Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s Holding on to Nothing

In her debut novel, Holding on to Nothing, Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne creates a fresh, moving story of young lovers in a small East Tennessee town and the myriad forces that trouble them as they set out to make a family. Shelburne will discuss Holding on to Nothing at The Porch in Nashville on Oct. 10 and at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on Oct. 11-13.

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A Great Experiment

The disruptive early days of the TVA become compelling fiction in Watershed  

Mark Barr’s debut novel, Watershed, considers the early TVA era from the ground up, focusing on character and place, and the intimate stories of lives impacted by the agency. Barr will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 11-13; at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on October 14; and at Novel in Memphis on October 21.

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Great Expectations

Former UN ambassador Samantha Power considers the reality of imperfect outcomes

Part captivating study in modern foreign affairs and part working mother tell-all, former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir should be required reading for anyone who wants to make a difference in a complicated world. Power will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of books, held in Nashville on October 11-13.

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“Vigil Hemming In”

Book Excerpt: Exorcism Lessons in the Heartland

Cara Dees is the author of Exorcism Lessons in the Heartland, winner of the 2018 Barrow Street Book Prize. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Best New Poets, Harvard Review, and Poetry Daily. A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cincinnati, she holds an M.F.A. from Vanderbilt University. Dees will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 11-13.

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Means of Survival

Saeed Jones’ memoir delivers a portrait of the artist as a young gay black man

In his memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, award-winning poet Saeed Jones recalls his struggle to find a way to live fully in a world that did not readily provide a place for him. Jones will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 11-13.

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