A new story collection by Lorrie Moore, who recently moved to Nashville, is always a Big Event in literary fiction
February 27, 2014 In her previous story collection, Birds of America, Lorrie Moore toed the line between tragic and comic with a grace few writers manage. Stories with heartbreaking premises, delivered with a heaping spoonful of wry wit: this is Moore’s brand of genius, and it is again revealed in Bark, a volume of eight stories whose arrival is a bona fide Big Event in the world of literary fiction—and not just in Moore’s new hometown of Nashville.
Published Thursday, 27 February 2014
Karen Joy Fowler’s new novel puts an unusual spin on family dysfunction
by Tina LoTufo
February 26, 2014 Rosemary Cooke, the narrator of Karen Joy Fowler’s latest novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the 2014 Nashville Reads book selection, is interested in memory and language and story, perhaps because Rosemary has been struggling with the story of her own life since she was five years old, when her unusual sister Fern disappeared, inflicting a trauma so deep that neither Rosemary nor her family has ever fully recovered. The Nashville Reads Kickoff event, “Drop Everything and Read,” will be held March 3, 2014, at the Nashville Public Library at 2 p.m. Guest readers include Mayor Karl Dean, novelist Ann Patchett, and songwriter Janis Ian, among others. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Courtney C. Stevens offers up a debut novel for young adults
by Sarah Norris
February 25, 2014 Faking Normal by Nashville resident Courtney C. Stevens is a gripping debut novel for young adults. In the story, a sixteen-year-old girl who acts as if everything is fine is compelled, for better or worse, to reckon with and expose the demons from her past. Courtney C. Stevens will discuss Faking Normal at Nashville’s Parnassus Books on February 25, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
Published Tuesday, 25 February 2014
In The Adventures of Henry Thoreau, Michael Sims follows along the path of self-discovery that led to Walden Pond
February 24, 2014 “In the decades since first encountering Walden in my late teens, I had often glimpsed Thoreau as the bearded sage of literature, natural history, or civil liberties,” writes Michael Sims. “I had seldom met the awkward young man who loved to sing, who ran a private school and applied his engineering skills to the pencil business, who popped popcorn and performed magic tricks for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s children, faced his own illnesses and the deaths of loved ones, and tried to make it as a freelance writer in New York City.” In The Adventures of Henry Thoreau, Sims offers a portrait of a young man who went on to mold both American literature and American identity. Sims will appear at the Jean and Alexander Heard Library on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville on April 11, 2014, with a book-signing at 6 p.m. and a free public address at 7 p.m.
Published Monday, 24 February 2014
Amy Greene’s new novel, Long Man, tells the story of a place lost to progress
February 20, 2014 In Amy Greene’s richly told second novel, the year is 1936, and the fictional Tennessee town of Yuneetah has been doomed by a TVA dam project. Long Man is the story of a crisis among the community’s last holdouts, and it brings a lost world to life. Greene will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on March 2, 2014; at Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 3, 2014; and at Crosstown Arts in Memphis on March 4, 2014.
Published Thursday, 20 February 2014
Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook, contemplates loss, luck, and Richard Gere
by Tina LoTufo
February 19, 2014 A delight from beginning to end, Matthew Quick’s The Good Luck of Right Now is filled with unlikely characters whose pain and longing are so real that readers celebrate each small step they take toward something like wholeness. As Quick’s protagonist, Bartholomew Neil, says, “Believing—or maybe even pretending—made you feel better about what had happened, regardless of what was true and what wasn’t. And what is reality, if it isn’t how we feel about things?” Matthew Quick will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 24, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
Published Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Elizabeth Spencer explores the cost of family love
February 18, 2014 Elizabeth Spencer’s story collection, Starting Over, explores the exquisite tension between husbands and wives, parents and children, familial belonging and the yearning of the individual heart. Spencer has published seven previous story collections, and she won the first of her five O. Henry prizes in 1960. She is, by any measure, a master of the form, and the stories in Starting Over show all the deftness and insight for which she has long been known.
Published Tuesday, 18 February 2014
The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, show readers how to make room for creativity
by Ralph Bowden
February 13, 2014 In Everything That Remains, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus offer a modern application of the long tradition of living better with less. This memoir about the transition of two upwardly-bound young men into what they call a minimalist life gives readers a how-to example. Millburn and Nicodemus will discuss Everything That Remains at Union Avenue Books in Knoxville on February 17, 2014, at 7 p.m.; at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 20, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.; and at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on February 21, 2014, at 7 p.m.
Published Friday, 14 February 2014
A magical baseball season unites the four disparate—and often desperate—narrators of Wiley Cash’s new thriller, This Dark Road to Mercy
February 12, 2014 North Carolina-based author Wiley Cash garnered widespread praise for his 2012 debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, which explored a small town’s dark secret through multiple narrators. He returns to the technique in his new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, a short, gripping thriller in which the action unfolds via four very different voices, against the backdrop of the 1998 home-run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Cash will discuss and sign This Dark Road to Mercy at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on February 17, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Published Wednesday, 12 February 2014
A family’s heartbreak drives Laura Lippman’s new mystery
by Chris Scott
February 10, 2014 A story of love, betrayal, and the gaping hole left in a family by the unresolved disappearance of a loved one, Laura Lippman’s After I’m Gone is a reminder that a well-done mystery novel is as great a work of art as any piece of literature. Lippman will discuss After I’m Gone at the Nashville Public Library on February 12, 2014, at 6:15 p.m., as part of the Salon@615 series. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Monday, 10 February 2014
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