Finding Fame in Defeat

Two University of Tennessee professors assess the legacy of George Armstrong Custer

by Chris Scott

November 18, 2015 Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown’s new book, Inventing Custer: The Making of an American Legend, tells the story of George Custer’s transformation from Civil War hero to legendary symbol of the American frontier. That legend has served the purposes of many points of view, making Custer still relevant 139 years after his death at the Little Bighorn.

Published Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A Friendship Across the Divide

In Sarah Einstein’s Mot: A Memoir, a woman in search of herself befriends a tormented wanderer

by Maria Browning

November 17, 2015 Sarah Einstein’s Mot: A Memoir tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a woman trying to find some purpose in her troubled life and a chronically homeless man who struggles with an army of inner demons.

Published Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Way to Be Black in America

Alexander Wolff explores the relationship between Barack Obama and basketball

by Aram Goudsouzian

November 13, 2015 Basketball has helped to define Barack Obama, both as a person and as a president. In The Audacity of Hoop, veteran sportswriter Alexander Wolff explores the man, the sport, and his era. Wolff will discuss and sign his new book at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on November 17, 2015, at 6 p.m. The reading will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Published Friday, 13 November 2015

All the Lost Things

Rock legend Patti Smith returns to the page with an elegiac new memoir, M Train

by Ed Tarkington

November 9, 2015 In 2010, rock icon Patti Smith won a National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids, a chronicle of her early years in New York City and her relationship with fine-art photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Now Smith returns with M Train, a haunting, elegiac meditation on the challenges of translating memory into art. Smith will appear at OZ Arts Nashville on November 13, 2015, at 7 p.m.

Published Monday, 9 November 2015

Sun of the South

Peter Guralnick delivers a thorough, affectionate biography of Sam Phillips, “the man who invented rock ‘n’ roll”

by Aram Goudsouzian

November 5, 2015 Peter Guralnick’s Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll not only recounts the musical titans who passed through Sun Records but also explores the ideas and experiences of its iconoclastic hero. Guralnick will discuss the book at the Brooks Museum in Memphis on November 11, 2015, at 7 p.m. and at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on November 14, 2015, at 1:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 5 November 2015

Alchemist of the American Roadside

John Baeder’s Road Well Taken remembers the great American road trip of one of our most iconic painters

by Erica Ciccarone

October 29, 2015 Jay Williams explores the life, times, and legacy of artist John Baeder in John Baeder’s Road Well Taken. Baeder will discuss and sign copies at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 4, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 28 October 2015

History’s Mysteries

Why did so many ancient civilizations collapse at the same time? Eric H. Cline explains

by Aram Goudsouzian

October 27, 2015 Archaeologist Eric H. Cline tackles one of ancient history’s great questions in 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. Cline delivers the Sesquicentennial Lecture in History at the University Center Theater at the University of Memphis on Nov. 5, 2015, at 6 p.m.

Published Monday, 26 October 2015

Fueling Dreams

Margaret Lazarus Dean’s prizewinning Leaving Orbit wows the critics

by Margaret Renkl

October 22, 2015 Prior to Margaret Lazarus Dean’s reading at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 23, 2015, Chapter 16 surveys the critical reception of Dean’s Graywolf Nonfiction Award-winning book, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight.

Published Thursday, 22 October 2015

When Brotherhood Isn’t

Barry Moser’s memoir about growing up in Chattanooga tackles hard questions of race and family

by Clay Risen

October 21, 2015 On the first page of his new memoir about growing up with his brother in postwar Chattanooga, the artist Barry Moser makes it clear that this won’t be the usual story of a Southern boyhood, full of swimming holes and fishing poles: “Without opportunity to be otherwise,” he writes, “Tommy and I were racists.” Moser will discuss We Were Brothers at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 26, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Touching Past, Present, and Future

Knoxville native David Madden examines the complex legacy of the Civil War

by Chris Scott

October 19, 2015 In The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction: Readings and Writings from a Novelist’s Perspective, David Madden illustrates the difficulty inherent in unraveling the various narratives and ongoing effects of America’s defining conflict. He will discuss the book at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville on November 10, 2015, at noon.

Published Sunday, 18 October 2015

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