The OF Blog: This year's Southern Festival of Books lineup looks very promising

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This year's Southern Festival of Books lineup looks very promising

I attended last year's annual Southern Festival of Books at Nashville's Legislative Plaza for the first time last October.  Although I only went for one day (Friday), there were several authors there who I got to meet briefly and chat with while getting works signed:  Stewart O'Nan, Donald Ray Pollock, Justin Torres, David Halperin, and Chad Harbach.  I had a great time for the four hours or so that I was there, browsing through the books on display (including some non-fiction small presses that I wish I had the actual tote bag space so I could have bought more), attending the author talks/panels, and standing in short enough lines that I could talk with each author for a few minutes without feeling as though I were taking up valuable space.

So I was curious recently to see if this year's lineup had been announced.  It has, although no firm dates on when the authors would be doing signings, readings, or panel discussions.  There is something for almost everyone on this massive list for the three days of the festival (since almost my entire family will be out of town during this mid-October weekend, I might just be tempted to attend as many days as I can, depending on if I have steady work by then).  Here are some of the authors whose works I've read and/or follow on Twitter:

Kelly Barnhill (The Mostly True Story of Jack)
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and the Unlikely Road to Manhood)
Junot Díaz (Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
Tupelo Hassman (Girlchild)
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Ben Marcus (several collections/stories; The Flame Alphabet)
R.L. Stine (all those YA horror/Goosebumps tales from when I was a kid)
Catherynne M. Valente (read almost all of her novels/collections)
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang)

Eclectic group, to say the least.  Hopefully, I will be able to attend at least one day and meet some of these writers and perhaps get a few of my books autographed.  Any others on that list that I should investigate (I do admit to being curious about one of the West Memphis Three having a memoir of his struggle to clear his name)?

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