Authors In Real Life

Notes from Ann: Turning the Tables

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(On location at Parnassus for A Word on Words. This new episode premieres Sunday, February 19, at 10:26 a.m. on Nashville Public Television.)

Mary Laura Philpott, the author of Penguins with People Problems, is often interviewing people, and whether she’s doing it on A Word on Wordsthe television series that discusses books, or right here on Musing, Parnassus’s online literary magazine (which, by the way, she created), she’s awfully good at it. So good at it, in fact, that she won an Emmy a couple of weeks ago. When one of your employees wins an Emmy, it’s best to call them into the office to have a little discussion, see what’s going on. For the record, Mary Laura strenuously objected to this interview. That’s because she always likes to be in control. But I still own half this bookstore, so I have some authority. I told her to just sit down and answer questions. – Ann Read the rest of this entry »

“Looking the beast in the face” — George Saunders on Life, Death, and Losing Control

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In February 1862, nearly a year into the bloody battles of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, dies of typhoid fever. Newspapers report that the grief-stricken President returns to the Georgetown cemetery by night to visit Willie’s body. That much is true. This much is fiction: One night, the President’s visit to the graveyard becomes a conversation with a colorful cast of ghostly characters, spirits stuck in a state of purgatory called the bardo, all of whom have a story to tell. Read the rest of this entry »

Divergent Author Veronica Roth Explores a Different World in New Series

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Lucky Nashville! We’re one of the destination cities for Veronica Roth’s book tour. The bestselling author of the Divergent series will present her new novel, Carve the Mark, at the Nashville Children’s Theatre on Friday, January 20, at 6:15 p.m., in conversation with Sarah Enni of the First Draft podcast. For this special edition of the Salon@615 series, your ticket includes a signed copy of Carve the Mark — a book so highly anticipated worldwide that it’s being released in 33 languages at onceRead the rest of this entry »

Michael Chabon on Defying Labels and Finding Your People

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Bookstore dilemma: Where to shelve a book that’s not entirely fiction but not 100% memoir? That’s what we had to contemplate when we unboxed Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Chabon’s new book of “speculative autobiography,” Moonglow. Read the rest of this entry »

Shop Dogs: What We’ve Learned from Doug the Pug

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It’s important to remember that Parnassus book events are more than just entertainment — they’re learning opportunities. That’s why we, the shop dogs of Parnassus Books, will be taking notes when celebri-dog Doug the Pug stops by this Saturday, November 12. Read the rest of this entry »

A Debut Novel Worth The Hype: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

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Sometimes when a book has been mentioned on practically every must-read list, it seems like there’s no way it can possibly live up to all the chatter. But oh, The Mothers by Brit Bennett really does. It’s full of imperfect people doing the best they can in very real circumstances. So many of us here at Parnassus are in love with it. We’d be thrilled for you to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »

Southern Festival of Books Preview, Part II: What Really Inspires Nashville Authors Alice Randall, Tiana Clark, and Sarah Hays Coomer

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Meet the authors this weekend at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville! (photo: Lisa Eveleigh for

Authors: they play the Hamilton soundtrack nonstop, just like us. (And they geek out over great sushi, a perfect poem, and hilarious stand-up comedy.) We asked three Nashville writers who will be reading and signing at the Southern Festival of Books this weekend, October 14-16, to tell us more about what keeps them going between projects, all about their pop culture guilty pleasures, and who’s doing work they envy. Read the rest of this entry »