Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South

Join Friends, the Knox County Public Library, and the East Tennessee Historical Society for an afternoon focused on Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South, an anthology of fiction and nonfiction contributions designed to challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Sunday, November 12, at 2 p.m. at the East Tennessee History Center.

Writers who will participate in the event are Julia Watts, one of the co-editors of the anthology and a 2017 inductee into the Friends of Literacy’s East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, and six contributors to the anthology:

  • James E. Cherry, author of three volumes of poetry, a collection of short stories, and two novels;
  • Mahayla Smith, past recipient of the Knoxville Writers Guild award for both short fiction and creative nonfiction;
  • Melanie Haws, whose contribution to the anthology is her first published work;
  • Tom Ray, a writer of fiction whose recent short story “Thumbing to Morristown” was published on FICTION on the WEB, the oldest short story website;
  • David Hunter, whose first work was published when he was in his teens, who was an editorial page columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel for 27 years, and who is the author of 18 fiction and nonfiction books;
  • Charles Dodson White, the author of two novels and a short story collection as well as co-editor of two Appalachian anthologies.

Copies of Unbroken Circle and of the individual authors’ books will be available for purchase after the event. Cash and checks only will be accepted for payment.

From Julia Watts’ Introduction to Unbroken Circle

“One of the goals of Unbroken Circle is to subvert stereotypes — to show that Southern people are not simple, shoeless, rural white people. We are a people as varied as the Southern landscape, from the mountains of Appalachia to the deltas of Mississippi to the skyscrapers of Atlanta. We are black, white, Latino, Native American, Middle Eastern, Asian, and multiracial. We are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, atheist and agnostic. We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, straight, and questioning. We are urban and rural, old and young, poor and rich, and all points in between. We are all these things, plus more that don’t fit into neat categories.…

“One of the things that unites the pieces in this collection, both fiction and nonfiction, is the Southern love of stories. Each author, whether established or emerging, has created a distinct Southern voice which is nobody’s stereotype. In a time when many people have lost the ability to listen and empathize, we the authors and editors of this collection, invite you to pull up a chair, join our circle, and listen to our stories.”

 

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