Authors In Real Life

Go Ahead and Learn This Writer’s Name: Smith Henderson

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photo by Rebecca Calavan

Photo by Rebecca Calavan

If you’ll indulge a goofy metaphor for a moment: Imagine a bunch of books are at a party. All the novels by famous and established authors are mingling in the center of the room, air-kissing and whatnot. First novels, when they arrive at a party like this, often linger near the door or find a seat by the wall or nervously stir a cocktail, waiting to be noticed. But this first novel is different. It walks into the party, changes the music, grabs the host’s girlfriend, and swipes a bottle of booze right off the bar, leaving all the other books wondering, “Who was that?” That was Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready to Ditch Your Day Job? Author Tracy Barrett Offers Some Advice

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photo by Alejandro Escamilla via unsplash

It’s hard to beat the excitement of a book launch party at Parnassus when the author is a member of the Nashville community. While plenty of folks in this town and beyond know her as “Dr. Barrett” — their Italian professor at Vanderbilt — we know Tracy Barrett as an author, and we’re thrilled to be hosting the launch event for her new novel, The Stepsister’s Tale. Barrett (who holds a Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature — smartypants) is the author of both contemporary and historical fiction and nonfiction for middle-grade and YA audiences. Here, she talks with Musing about how she made the brave move to leave teaching behind and transition to a full-time writing career. Read the rest of this entry »

David Sedaris: “I’d rather go to an actual shop. I want beauty in my life. I want charm.”

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SedarisDuo

Photo by Hugh Hamrick

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, the latest essay collection from humorist David Sedaris, is now out in paperback. As we stacked it on the shelves last week, we remembered how much fun we had with Sedaris during his visit to Parnassus last year. We decided it was time to catch up with one of our very favorite authors. Read the rest of this entry »

Like Father, Like Son: Willie and Bill Geist Crack Us Up

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geists

The witty memoir co-written by Bill and Willie Geist may be an obvious choice for a Fathers Day gift, but don’t let that stop you from picking up a copy for yourself, too. Or your mom. Or your friends. The hilarious and often touching father-son interaction in Good Talk, Dad makes this a fun read for anybody. Read the rest of this entry »

Elizabeth McCracken on Humor, Loss, and the Appeal of Broken Characters: “Life Is Full of Bad Jokes”

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photo by Edward Carey

Heads-up, members of our First Editions Club. When you receive your autographed copy of Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck & Other Stories, you’ll be taking possession of something rare. Like a solar eclipse, the stories in this book align darkness and light so precisely that they overlap to create something magical — you can see the edges of hope around each character’s despair. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Pollan on Eating While Traveling, the Gluten-Free Craze, and More

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Photo: Alia Malley/michaelpollan.com

We’re thrilled to welcome bestselling author and leading food-thinker Michael Pollan (“food-thinker” is a term now — we just coined it) for a discussion and signing of his book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, this Wednesday. As we prepared for his visit, we wondered how someone who warns against dining out too frequently prepares for eating on the road over an extended time. Here’s what he had to say about that — plus a few other things. Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Straub’s Fantasy Literary Vacation

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straub cover

You know the summertime dilemma: Sometimes you’re in the mood to wiggle your toes into the sand and enjoy a fun story – nothing too dark and heavy — but you’re not willing to waste your time on a book that’s so silly you’ll just want to fling it into the ocean later. Is it too much to ask for a beach read to deliver multi-dimensional characters, a zippy plot, snappy dialogue you can’t help but read aloud to the person in the lounge chair next to you, and solid writing? Read the rest of this entry »