Book Fairs | July 31, 2012

Southern Festival of Books Announces 2012 Author Lineup

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Southern Festival of Books announces a lineup of bestselling and award-winning authors set to headline the twenty-fourth Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Oct. 12-14. The roster includes Katherine Patterson, Junot Diaz, Gillian Flynn, R.L. Stine, AJ Jacobs, Judith Viorst and rising star Karen Thompson Walker.
The Southern Festival of Books is a free, three-day celebration of the written word that attracts about 30,000 attendees to meet their favorite authors, as well as to be introduced to up-and-coming talented new writers. The festival is a fixture of fall in the South and has become one of the most popular regional literary events in the country. Festival guests travel to Nashville to experience the weekend’s abundance of authors, books, food, entertainment and culture.
The Southern Festival of Books is held at Legislative Plaza and the Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville at the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol. Each year, the Festival features a diverse collection of authors to discuss and sign their books.
Highlights of the 2012 Festival include:
??      Numerous New York Times bestsellers including Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and AJ Jacobs (Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection) who is famous for The Year of Living Biblically.
??      R.L. Stine, one of America’s best-loved writers, with his new horror novel for adults, Red Rain.
??      Pulitzer Prize-winners such as Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger (Father’s Day: A Journey into the Heart and Mind of My Extraordinary Son), Washington Post reporter David Maraniss (Barack Obama: The Story) and Junot Diaz (This is How you Lose Her).
??      Renowned young adult authors Katherine Patterson (Bridge to Terabithia) and Judith Viorst (Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day). Both of these fan favorites have new releases - Patterson (The Flint Heart), Viorst (Lulu walks the Dog)
??      Southern foodies including Amy Lyles Wilson (Farm Fresh Southern Cooking), Southern Living editor Rebecca Lang (Southern Living Around a Southern Table), Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie (Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking), Nashville’s Chris Chamberlain (The Southern Foodie), and Tayst chef/owner Jeremy Barlow.
??      Literary notables Mark Helprin (In Sunlight and in Shadow) best known for his book The Winter’s Tale, Dan Chaon (Stay Awake: Stories), Margot Livesey (The Flight of Gemma Hardy), Ron Rash (The Cove), Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins), and bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama (A Hundred Flowers).
??      Local Alice Randall (Ada’s Rules: A Sexy, Skinny Novel), Adam Ross (Ladies and Gentleman), Ann Shayne with locally-set novel Bowling Avenue, and Jeanne Ray (Calling Invisible Women) - mother of Nashville-favorite Anne Patchett.
??      Major literary debuts include: Karen Thompson Walker, with The Age of Miracles, a summer blockbuster about coming of age at the end of the world, Ben Fountain with his debut novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: A Novel, and writer Attica Locke entering the mystery genre with The Cutting Season.
??      A special series of sessions on emancipation, with featured speakers such as Tony Horwitz (Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War), senior editor and blogger for The Atlantic Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and the Unlikely Road to Manhood) and renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer (Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory.)
The full Festival lineup and more information about each author can be found online at
As book lovers gear up for the festival, they can participate in the back-by-popular-demand @SoFestofBooks “Speed Reader” Twitter contest. The contest kicked off July 16 and gives @SoFestofBooks followers the chance to earn front-of-the-line signing privileges for an author of their choosing.
Each week @SoFestofBooks gives daily Twitter clues about authors appearing at this year’s festival.  Twitter followers will then have the opportunity to guess which author fits the clues.  The first follower to guess the author correctly wins. Winners and the weeks’ featured author will be announced by 5 p.m. CDT each Friday throughout the contest. Weekly contest winners will receive a Speed Reader pass and a 2012 Festival poster.  Participants must be 18 or older to play.  All answer must be submitted as a @reply to @SoFestofBooks.  Direct messages will not be considered.
Also ongoing is a weekly Facebook contest, which awards to the winner each week the book of an author set to attend the Festival.
The Southern Festival of Books is presented by Humanities Tennessee, a non-profit organization that promotes humanities education across Tennessee. The Festival is proudly sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities, Ingram Content Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Nashville Scene, AWC Family Foundation, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Predators Foundation, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Memorial Foundation, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
Humanities Tennessee and the Southern Festival of Books are on the Web at Join the festival on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @SoFestBooks.