Praise Song

On the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Roots, poet Nikki Giovanni remembers the hope Alex Haley offered at a perilous time

by Nikki Giovanni

May 20, 2016 In the second of a ten-essay series commemorating the centennial year of the Pulitzer Prizes, poet Nikki Giovanni reflects on the enduring legacy of Alex Haley’s Roots, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977.

Published Friday, 20 May 2016

Dog Years

A life with pets forms the scaffolding of a new memoir by columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson

by Peggy Burch

May 6, 2016 Syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson will talk about The Dogs Buried Over the Bridge: A Memoir in Dog Years, at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on May 10, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 15, 2016, at 2 p.m. The book chronicles Johnson’s loves, losses, and Mississippi home life by way of the dogs who shared the journey.

Published Friday, 6 May 2016

Giving Recognizable Shape to the Chaos of our Lives

Novelist Lee Smith’s new memoir is a must-read for aspiring writers—and everyone else

by Susannah Felts

May 4, 2016 With thirteen novels and four short-story collections to her credit, Lee Smith is virtually synonymous with Appalachian fiction. In her new memoir-in-essays, Dimestore, she takes readers with her on a tour of the places, people, and experiences that have shaped her life and her writing. Smith will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 11, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Let the Truth Show Itself in the Work

Chapter 16 talks with James McBride, author of the 2016 Nashville Reads selection, The Color of Water

by Ed Tarkington

May 2, 2016 Nearly twenty years have passed since the publication of James McBride’s first book, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. The memoir spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and continues to be a regular selection for city-wide programs like Nashville Reads, which will bring James McBride to the Nashville Public Library on May 9, 2016, for a free public reading.

Published Monday, 2 May 2016

The Art of Attention

A new essay collection from the University of Tennessee honors Jeff Daniel Marion, beloved Appalachian poet and teacher

by Sarah Norris

April 28, 2016 Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston celebrates the life and work of Appalachian poet Jeff Daniel Marion. Edited by Jesse Graves, Thomas Alan Holmes, and Ernest Lee, the anthology contains seventeen essays—including an autobiographical essay by Marion himself—an interview with the poet, and a detailed timeline of his life.

Published Thursday, 28 April 2016

Join the Invaders

Shirletta J. Kinchen’s Black Power in the Bluff City explores the history of student activism in Memphis

by Lyda Phillips

April 27, 2016 Shirletta Kinchen’s Black Power in the Bluff City examines the way black youth in Memphis played a pivotal role in creating societal change, both before and after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Hotel in 1968. In the end, the struggle for equality became a children’s crusade, with high-school and college students leading the way.

Published Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Heroes from the Merchant Marine

Journalist William Geroux spotlights the impressive World War II sacrifice of men from small-town Virginia

by Ralph Bowden

April 26, 2016 Mathews County, Virginia, has a long tradition of supplying seafaring men to the Merchant Marine. In The Mathews Men, Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats, William Geroux writes of the exceptional service and sacrifice during World War II of the seamen from Mathews County. He will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville May 3, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Topical, Not Timeless

Rhodes College professor David McCarthy writes a history of protest art in America

by Erica Ciccarone

April 25, 2016 In American Artists Against War, Rhodes College professor David McCarthy serves up a history of protest with artists at its center.

Published Monday, 25 April 2016

Dancing with Lost Souls

Sonja Livingston resurrects forgotten women and girls in Ladies Night at the Dreamland

by Maria Browning

April 21, 2016 Sonja Livingston’s second essay collection, Ladies Night at the Dreamland, is a kind of literary search-and-rescue effort. In twenty-one delicately crafted pieces, she brings forth a remarkable group of little-known women and girls from the past, imagining her way into their lives with lyrical intensity. Livingston will discuss the book at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on April 26, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 21 April 2016

Worst and Worster

In a new memoir, the punk band NOFX tells all

by Sarah Carter

April 20, 2016 In the band’s recent tell-all, NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, Fat Mike, Melvin, Smelly, and El Hefe share their personal and musical epiphanies. NOFX will discuss their new memoir at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 26, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 20 April 2016

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