Nonfiction

Into History

In Fresh Water from Old Wells, Cindy Henry McMahon confronts her family’s tumultuous path toward social justice

by Emily Choate

May 21, 2015 In Fresh Water From Old Wells, Cindy Henry McMahon reveals a tumultuous family history that encompasses both civil-rights activism and backwoods hippie enclaves as she seeks to restore her own fractured memories. McMahon will discuss Fresh Water from Old Wells at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 31, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Source of an Artistic Soul

In Hold Still, photographer Sally Mann interrogates the past that shaped her

by Maria Browning

May 18, 2015 Photographer Sally Mann’s body of work—which includes haunting images of her family and the Southern landscape, as well as unsettling studies of death and decay—is remarkable for its beauty and singular intensity. Hold Still, her new memoir, is a fascinating meditation on the sources of that work, as well as a reckoning with the unreliability of both memory and photography as ways of preserving the past. Mann will discuss the book in a conversation with novelist Ann Patchett at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville on May 21, 2015, at 6:15 p.m.

Published Monday, 18 May 2015

Celebrating a Racial Pioneer

Biographer Andrew Maraniss gets a surprise phone call from Ethel Kennedy

by Margaret Renkl

May 18, 2015 The judges of the Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Awards have singled out Andrew Maraniss’s Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South for special recognition.

Published Monday, 18 May 2015

One Giant Step Back

Margaret Lazarus Dean bids a nuanced farewell to American spaceflight

by Michael Ray Taylor

May 14, 2015 In 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean drove repeatedly from her home in Knoxville to Cape Canaveral in Florida to watch the final launches of the three surviving craft in the American space-shuttle fleet. In Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight, she recounts these trips and reflects eloquently on what it means to have lost the ability to launch humans into space from U.S. soil. Dean will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on June 18, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 14 May 2015

A Typesetter’s Love Letter to Books

Taking a love of the printed word to a new level

by Lindsay Lynch

May 8, 2015 When one of my old friends finally asked me what exactly I was doing in Nashville, I said I was working in a letterpress shop that specialized in nineteenth-century printing techniques. I left out the fact that I wasn’t being paid. Even so, at the moment, it sounded a whole lot better than toiling away at law school.

Published Friday, 8 May 2015

Mirror Images

Two, Melissa Ann Pinney’s new collection of photographs, captures pairs of all kinds

by Susannah Felts

April 29, 2015 Two by Melissa Ann Pinney, a photography collection paired with personal essays edited and introduced by Ann Patchett, explores pairings of all sorts: couples, doublings, twins, and reflections. Pinney will discuss her work at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 6, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Car Trouble

There are times when the only recourse to automotive despair is Neil Diamond

by Morey Hill

April 24, 2015 It started off with a low, quiet groan. The kind of noise my roommate, Chet, makes when I mention things like “utility bills” or “soap.” Although something clearly wasn’t right, I just didn’t want to spend the money to get it fixed. It was a subtle noise, and my approach was to drown it out—I turned up the radio.

Published Friday, 24 April 2015

“Time to Go Back and Tell the Whole Story”

In a new memoir, John Oates will focus on his life as a solo musician

by Mary Emily Vatt

April 22, 2015 Rock’n’Roll icon John Oates has signed a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and will release a memoir, still untitled, in 2016.

Published Wednesday, 22 April 2015

An Insignificant Balcony

Perhaps history is anything that is found in the past and repeated in the future

by Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay

April 20, 2015 The steps to our little balcony seem narrower each time, my hands tracing the delicate staircase. I forget the feeling of cool metal under my fingertips and dust that covers every millimeter of space until I have made it to the top, realizing what I’ve missed all along. There stand my grandparents in the doorframe with stolen time in their skin and longing in their veins.

Published Monday, 20 April 2015

Growing Home

An only child contemplates her unlikely path to motherhood

by Jen Wallwork Dominguez

April 20, 2015 My parents entered into marriage under the duress of an unplanned pregnancy, and spent the next nine brutal years locked up together, punishing each other for the mistake. By the time I graduated high school I had decided that I would never have children.

Published Monday, 20 April 2015

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