Only Love Can Break Your Heart (and Only Parnassus Is Hosting the Book Launch)

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Sound the bells! Shake the tambourines! Nashville has another new literary star. Ed Tarkington — who gets up while it’s still dark every morning to write before heading off to teach English at Montgomery Bell Academy — will read and discuss his debut novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, here at Parnassus on Tuesday, January 5, at 6:30 p.m.

static1.squarespaceBonus: Nashville music-lovers will be thrilled to know that Tarkington will be joined by his friend — and one of our favorite songwriters — Will Hoge, who has written and recorded a set of songs inspired by the story. Find out more about the role music plays in the book, plus the real-life inspiration behind the events in the novel, in Tarkington’s interview with our own Mary Laura Philpott on “How Accidentally a Fate Is Made”


“It’s the big moments in life we’re drawn back to” – Ed Tarkington on turning dark memories into good stories

“I had to overcome this fear that maybe this material wasn’t ‘serious’ enough, because it’s just about these quirky people in this small Southern town, instead of about something really topical and heavy, like war or terrorism. But the more I thought about it, I felt like the stuff I wanted to write about — the ordeals so many families experience, love and all its complications, the toll of mental and physical illness — these are subjects I take very seriously, and I think a lot of other people do too.”

Read the whole interview on Salon. And be here on January 5 as we celebrate Nashville’s latest novelist and the book we can’t stop talking about:


Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Presented by author Ed Tarkington

With special guest, Will Hoge

Tuesday, January 5, 6:30 p.m.

at Parnassus Books