Southern Festival of Books

This weekend I went to the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville for a reading and it was lovely. For many reasons:

1.Incomparably beautiful drive across the Cumberland plateau where early fall was just beginning to paint the hills rolling away under a blue sky.
2. I shared a room with friends from Knoxville: Melissa Brenneman, Emily Dziuban and Elizabeth Gentry. Books and pajama party with wonderful friends, hard to beat.
3. My friends coddled my little fantasy of a drink in The Hermitage bar after the reading so I was happy.
4. Maybe 50 people at my reading, varied and attentive, good questions and I didn’t jumble too much. Sold some books.
5. I learned that Kit Carson spoke French, Spanish and about 8 Native American languages. A photographic recall of landscape but could not read or write English. Speaking so many languages did not stop him from pioneering the scorched earth tactics against native peoples that Sherman so ably employed at Atlanta. However, Carson did feel guilty later.
6. I heard Lee Martin read from his new book, Break the Skin and it was very very fine. I just started his The Bright Forever: the calm, sure stroke of a master. Really a gift.
7. I heard Ann Patchett speak passionately for independent booksellers.
8. I thought some more about my next book, which it turns out will be set in the 19th, not the 12th century. More on this later.
9. The Tennessee legislative halls, so often the cradle of repressive and misbegotten laws, was for three days the host of wonderful written word.
10. A Sunday morning radio preacher announced that he’s never seen a hearse with a U-Haul behind it. So I guess the message is: enjoy these fall days.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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