Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Deciphering Life

Jill McCorkle’s Hieroglyphics explores the intricate passages of memory, time, and love

“We are all haunted by something — something we did or didn’t do — and the passing years either add to the weight or diminish it.” Those are the words of Lil, the loving but wounded woman at the heart of Jill McCorkle’s new novel, Hieroglyphics. The tormenting power of memory, and conflicting desires to escape and interrogate the past, shape the lives of all the characters in this poignant, deeply human story. Jill McCorkle will discuss Hieroglyphics at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 10.

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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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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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