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Powell's Books Presents Margaret Renkl in Conversation With Mary Laura Philpott
For the past four years, Margaret Renkl’s columns have offered readers of The New York Times a weekly dose of natural beauty, human decency, and persistent hope from her home in Nashville. Now more than 60 of those pieces have been brought together in a sparkling new collection from the author of Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. “People have often asked me how it feels to be the ‘voice of the South,’” writes Renkl in her introduction. “But I’m not the voice of the South, and no one else is, either.” There are many Souths — red and blue, rural and urban, mountain and coast, Black and white and brown — and no one writer could possibly represent all of them. In Graceland, At Last (Milkweed), Renkl writes instead from her own experience about the complexities of her homeland, demonstrating along the way how much more there is to this tangled region than many people understand. In a patchwork quilt of personal and reported essays, Renkl also highlights some other voices of the South, people who are fighting for a better future for the region. A group of teenagers who organized a youth march for Black Lives Matter. An urban shepherd whose sheep remove invasive vegetation. Church parishioners sheltering the homeless. Throughout, readers will find the generosity of spirit and deep attention to the world, human and nonhuman, that keep readers returning to Renkl’s columns each Monday morning. Renkl will be joined in conversation by Mary Laura Philpott, author of I Miss You When I Blink.

Sep 27, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Margaret Renkl
Margaret Renkl is the author of Graceland, At Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache From the American South and Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, where her essays appear weekly. Her work has also appeared in Guernica, Literary Hub, Proximity, and River Teeth, among others. The founding editor of Chapter 16, a daily literary publication of Humanities Tennessee, and a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.
Mary Laura Philpott
Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink and the new memoir-in-essays Bomb Shelter (forthcoming in April 2022). Her writing has been featured frequently by The New York Times and also appears in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Paris Review Daily, O The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and other publications.