400 E. Main Street #120, Chattanooga, TN
In this darkly funny work of literary nonfiction, a bookish young woman insinuates herself into the lives of two cage fighters—one a young prodigy, the other an aging journeyman. Acclaimed essayist Kerry Howley follows these men for three years through the bloody world of mixed martial arts as they starve themselves, break bones, fail their families and form new ones in the quest to rise from remote Midwestern fairgrounds to packed Vegas arenas. With penetrating intelligence and wry humor, Howley exposes the profundities and absurdities of this American subculture.
Kerry Howley's work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Slate, and frequently in Bookforum. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program.
Set in historical Charleston's insular South of Broad neighborhood, A Southern Girl is a tale of international adoption and the evolution of a family. Coleman Carter is a scion of the Old South, a resourceful trial lawyer, devoted husband, and dutiful father. When his wife, Elizabeth, champions their adoption of a Korean orphan, and Soo Yun arrives, the reactions of Coleman's community open his eyes to the racism and exclusivity of his sheltered life. As the Carters forge a new family identity, Coleman must confront generations-old fears inherent in southern traditions of purity and prestige. John Warley guides us through enclaves of southern privilege in New Hampton, Virginia, and Charleston; poverty-stricken alleys of Seoul, South Korea; jungles of Vietnam; and sidewalks of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as father and daughter endure the trials of their pasts and present alike.
The first release from Pat Conroy's Story River Books, A Southern Girl includes a foreword by New York Times bestselling novelist Therese Anne Fowler.
Tickets are $50
Join us for a festive evening celebrating local Chattanooga creativity. This one-of-a-kind auction consists of original works by 50 distinguished local artists. The evening will feature catering by St. John's Restaurant and music by the Booker T. Scruggs Jazz Ensemble. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit our outreach programs such as Theatre Express, Writers in Classrooms, and the Young Southern Student Writers competition!
Novelist Ron Rash has deemed Powell "the best Appalachian novelist of his generation." In this, his fourth novel, Powell broadens the southern backdrop of his earlier work into a sprawling thriller taking readers from the Middle East to Charleston, southern Georgia, Tampa, Miami, New Orleans, and into the storied American West. In its themes, perspectives, and pacing, The Sheltering recalls the work of Robert Stone, Jim Harrison, and Ben Fountain while further establishing Powell as a unique voice capable of interrogating unfathomable truths with a beauty and cohesion of language that challenges our assumptions of the human spirit.
Join us for readings by Mark Powell and John Warley of Pat Conroy's new fiction imprint, Story River Books.
Mark Powell; photo credit: Stetson University