Southern Festival of Books kicks off virtually on Thursday

Readers and writers from across Tennessee, and the world, will celebrate the joy of reading and lifelong learning through free online sessions with more than 100 authors beginning n Thursday. {Art Provided}

Books and other forms of the written word are helping us get through this global pandemic. It’s for that reason among others that the organizers of the state’s largest literary event will transition the annual Southern Festival of Books to a free, virtual event.

Organizers announced in July that this year’s Southern Festival of Books would take place virtually, and for free on October 1-11 in order to maintain the health and safety of not only the authors but also the hundreds that attend the annual Music City event.

“We will miss being at the beautiful Nashville Public Library and on War Memorial Plaza, with all of the buzz and energy that the Festival weekend brings. But the important traditions will carry on in new and exciting ways; the opportunity to hear writers read from and discuss their works, and the chance to engage in ideas and discourse that are vital today. Writers will join us from around the country, and we will also share some sites and literary history from Tennessee,” said Humanities Tennessee Literature and Language Program Director Serenity Gerbman.

“We are energized by the chance to reach audiences of all types who aren’t able to visit Nashville in person but who will be able to join the Festival from anywhere in the world. The celebration of the written word will continue, and we hope you will join us Oct. 1-11.”

Confirmed authors include actor, comedian, and writer Michael Ian Black, poet Nikky Finney, Devil in the White City author Erik Larson, author and Parnassus owner Ann Patchett, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethway. For the full roster of 100 authors click here.

“Now more than ever we need to find ways to connect with each other and foster community.  Ingram Content Group proudly supports Humanities Tennessee and its decision to virtually host the Southern Festival of Books this fall.  The free programming offered during the festival and throughout the year is vital to the region as it prompts us to reflect upon stories and ideas of all kinds,” said Ingram President and CEO Shawn Morin.

By necessity, the Festival’s annual Authors In The Round fundraising dinner will also transition to a virtual format with details forthcoming.

“We look forward to all we will learn presenting this year’s Festival online, so that when we return in 2021 with the Festival and “Authors In The Round” dinner in person, both events will be energized to celebrate community, literature, and learning as never before,” said Humanities Tennessee Executive Director Tim Henderson.

For more information, visit the Humanities Tennessee website by clicking here.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Five “don’t miss” authors at the Southern Festival of Books

Poster art for the 2019 Festival by Nashville artist Rachel Briggs.

EVENTS | Nashville — Writers and readers are like peanut butter and jelly. One’s just not the same without the other. On October 11-13, Humanities Tennessee will bring the two together for the 31st year during the Southern Festival of Books. The Lynchburg Times reviewed the authors list and here’s five we’re very excited about meeting:

1 | Casey Cep’s first work, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, became a New York Times Best Seller. It’s a true crime thriller, biography, and historical fiction all blended into one. She will speak on Oct. 13 at 12 p.m. about her book.

2 | Jay Farrell work Abandoned Nashville: Dark Corners of Music City explores the rustic, gritty underbelly of the Music City. His photographs and stories capture parts of the city lost to rapid growth.

3 | It’s not enough the Ann Patchett owns our favorite independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville. She also happens to be an outstanding fiction writer. She’ll be on hand to discuss her newest novel, The Dutch House, and will speak twice: on Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. to discuss Nashville: Scene from the New American South and again at 12 p.m. for a conversation with New York Times opinion writer, Margaret Renki.

4 | Taylor Jenkins Reed wrote the Reese Book Club March pick, Daisy Jones & The Six. It tells the story of the meteoric rise of a 70’s rock band and all the growing pain that come with is when it’s literally sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Amazon Studios is turning the novel into a TV series. She will speak at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 12 as part of the Coffee with Authors series.

5 | Dani Shapiro’s written for The New Yorker, Vogue, The Oprah Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review. Her recent book, Inheritance: A Memior of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love explores overwhelming family secrets uncovered by a genealogy test and the ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing. She will speak with fellow author Mary Laura Philpott at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.

As always, the event is free and open to the general public. It takes place at the War Memorial Plaza and the Nashville Public Library located at 615 Church Street. For a full list of participating authors, click here. For a full schedule of events, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}