Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Open Secrets and Broken Promises

In David James Poissant’s Lake Life, a family’s farewell to their summer home leads to traumatic reckoning

In David James Poissant’s first novel, Lake Life, the Starling family gathers in their crumbling vacation home for one last weekend. Over 48 hours, long-buried secrets are revealed and lives are overturned. Poissant will discuss Lake Life at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Love Letter to the Dollyverse

Sarah Smarsh’s She Come by It Natural pays unique tribute to Dolly Parton

Sarah Smarsh mixes music journalism and memoir in She Come by It Natural, which chronicles the life, career, and evolving cultural impact of Dolly Parton. Smarsh will discuss She Come by It Natural at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online Oct. 1-11.

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Suffering in Coal Country

Chris Hamby recounts miners’ fight for health benefits in Soul Full of Coal Dust

Soul Full of Coal Dust by Nashville native Chris Hamby exposes the coal industry’s machinations to keep miners with black lung disease from getting modest compensation. Hamby, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Home, Happiness, and Hurt

Writers of color consider what it means to belong in the South

A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South considers the varying societal access points for people of color below the Mason-Dixon line. From a broad range of perspectives, the book takes on an essential question: What does it mean to “get into” the modern South, rather than remaining an eternal tourist? Editor Cinelle Barnes, along with contributors Jennifer Hope Choi and Minda Honey, will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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What We’ll Miss and What We’ll Share

The meaning of the Southern Festival of Books in a season of loss

We often conceive of loss only as a falling away, but it is also a binding. Think of the groups whose only purpose is to bring together people who have lost the same thing.

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Baking Can Save You

Lisa Donovan’s memoir is never short of passion

As much a manifesto as a memoir, Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Nashville writer and pastry chef Lisa Donovan is beautifully written, fresh, and powerful — in the tradition of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Donovan will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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