What if the voice of Southern literature is a musical one? Two recent novels, The Whole Way Home and Last Ride to Graceland, explore one woman’s journey to country music stardom and one daughter’s quest to learn if Elvis is her long-lost father. In both novels, modern singer-songwriters who have a love-hate relationship with the past learn that no matter how far you think you’ve come, the South keeps calling you home. Sarah Creech, Kim Wright, and Anna Schachner will discuss Elvis and his rockabilly roots, the contemporary Nashville music scene, and how musical tradition continues to inform the Southern literary voice.
Sarah Creech is the author of two novels, Season of the Dragonflies and The Whole Way Home, both published by William Morrow. Her short fiction and essays have appeared at various publications, including The Cortland Review, WritersDigest.com, StorySouth, and Literary Mama. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and children and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.
Kim Wright is the author Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz, The Canterbury Sisters, and Last Ride to Graceland, all published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Last Ride to Graceland was recently announced as the 2017 winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.
Anna Schachner, a former music journalist, has published short fiction and nonfiction in many journals and magazines, including Puerto del Sol, Ontario Review, and The Sun, and she contributes nonfiction about books and literary culture to publications such as The Guardian and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You and I and Someone Else, her first novel, was released by Mercer University Press in April 2017. She directs the Townsend Prize for Fiction (Georgia’s preeminent writing award), runs a series of writing workshops for veterans, and volunteers with Reforming Arts to teach writing in the Georgia prison system. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, she grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and now lives in Atlanta, where she is the editor of The Chattahoochee Review.