Oct 12, 2022 - Things to Do

Southern Festival of Books returns with books, beer and Doug the Pug

Event poster for the Southern Festival of Books

Illustration: Laura Baisden/courtesy of the Southern Festival of Books

This week marks the return of the Southern Festival of Books, and it's the first time the annual event has been in-person since 2019.

The details: The festival spearheaded by Humanities Tennessee runs Friday to Sunday and will feature signings and talks with more than 150 authors.

  • Free events will take place at War Memorial Plaza and Auditorium and the downtown library.
  • Some events will be streamed online.

The vibe: Festival director Serenity Gerbman tells Axios the organizers wanted the gathering to fit in alongside other celebratory Music City events, so it will include live entertainment, food, a beer garden and an appearance by Doug the Pug.

  • Church Street Park across from the library will become a dedicated children's area.
  • Think of it as Live on the Green, but with bookmarks.

Zoom in: Friday will bring a discussion between two authors who wrote about the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Alex Jahangir, an orthopedic trauma surgeon who served as head of the Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force, will be on hand to discuss "Hot Spot," his book about that time.
  • Emily Mendenhall will speak about her book "Unmasked," about a small tourist destination in Iowa that was hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

On Saturday, actress Diane Kruger, who appeared in "Inglourious Basterds," will talk about her children's book about how learning the meaning of her name brought her a new sense of power.

  • Singer-songwriter Margo Price, whose memoir "Maybe We'll Make It" explores her struggle to find a way in the music industry after moving to Nashville, will discuss her work with Fiona Whelan Prine on Sunday.

Yes, and: The lineup also includes Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Joshua Cohen on Saturday.


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