Text & Photos by Janice Malone
With so many book stores and closing, both locally and national, it was so good to see book lovers networking, shopping and reading at this year’s Southern Festival of Books last weekend. The Southern Festival of Books (SFB) is a regional three-day literary event, that takes place at the Legislative Plaza and the Tennessee Capitol Building in Downtown Nashville. It’s free and open to the public and annually attracts readers and writers from across the country. The festival is one of the first festivals of its kind and features more than 200 authors from across the nation, three performance stages, events for youth and families, and more than 50 popular book related exhibitors from all parts of the country. As always, the SFB features some of the country’s most talented authors from local, regional and the national level.
One of the featured authors for this year’s event was critically acclaimed, bestselling author Walter Mosley, who did a reading from his latest book,The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, at the War Memorial Auditorium. Devil in A Blue Dress, Mosley’s first novel and his first Easy Rawlins mystery, was published in 1990. It was later made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington as the title character. After the reading Mr. Mosley took several questions from the jam-packed audience that ranged from questions about politics, race, music, films and his early childhood. When asked by this writer what did he think of the smash hit movie The Help? Mosley replied, “I haven’t seen it yet, so that lets you know right there,” he stated with a laugh. He went on to say that he is working with NBC on a new drama series of one of his own books. Mr. Mosley later autographed various copies of his books to a long, long line of adoring fans who waited patiently for their turn with the creator of “Easy Rawlins.”
History of the Festival: Humanities Tennessee’s Southern Festival of Books was first held in Nashville on the second weekend in October, 1989, and has been held annually on the same weekend since then. It is the original book festival, A Celebration of the Written Word, and has inspired hundreds of similar book festivals throughout the nation and beyond. At the conclusion of each Southern Festival of Books event, the fall/winter season can now officially begin.