The annual Southern Festival of Books is coming back to Nashville Public Library and War Memorial Plaza October 14-16—mark your calendars!
To kick off your weekend, there are two not-to-be-missed sessions on Friday: Chris Offutt at 1:00 and The Most Exquisite Mayhem at 3:00. Offutt’s My Father, the Pornographer has an inflammatory title but is essentially a really good Kentucky coming-of-age memoir. Donald Ray Pollock and Brad Watson make up the Mayhem panel, and they will each be coming with their respective fan clubs.
If you’ve never been to the Festival before, Saturday is the day to go. Things kick off at 10:00 with J.D. Vance, the author of the much-discussed Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about growing up in Appalachia that is also a sociological look at the region. This will be a perfect segue to Arlie Hochschild at 11:00 discussing Strangers in Their Own Land, more sociology—this time about Tea Party enthusiasts. (You may know Hochschild as the author of the groundbreaking The Second Shift.) At noon you have two excellent choices: Brad Watson's Miss Jane (if you missed him on Friday) and Matthew Desmond’s Evicted (if you haven’t had enough sociology yet).
Megan Abbott is at 1:00 with her gymnastics thriller, You Will Know Me. Abbott has a distinct (and slightly terrifying) writing style that you won’t want to miss. Helen Ellis, with her biting Southern short story collection American Housewife, is at 2:00, but you may have to sneak out early to see Ann Patchett at 2:30. There’s another major decision to make later in the afternoon: Curtis Sittenfeld and Gayle Forman in conversation at 3:30, but one of the most highly praised authors of the year, Yaa Gyasi for her novel Homegoing, at 4:00.
See you at the Festival!
Beth works in the Collection Development department. She loves short stories, memoirs, documentary films, and cookbooks. Her favorite things about working at the library are the Salon@615 series and the easy access to her library holds.