Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Diverse and Complicated

Three Appalachian women tell their stories in Voices Worth the Listening

Thomas Burton’s Voices Worth the Listening: Three Women of Appalachia invites readers into the lives of three women from the Blue Ridge Mountains, allowing them to tell their unique stories of struggle and resilience.

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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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Book Excerpt: Code

Charlotte Pence’s first book of poems, Many Small Fires (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), received an INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award from Foreword Reviews. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, and Brevity. A graduate of Emerson College (M.F.A.) and the University of Tennessee (Ph.D.), she is now the director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama.

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