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Southern Literature

Tennessee Books

Some of the books listed below are literary classics, but did you know they are based in Tennessee? Some of these popular reads have also won Pulitzer prize and are a popular read among the public.

The Firm by John Grisham

He thought it was his dream job. It turned into his worst nightmare.

When Mitch McDeere qualified third in his class at Harvard, offers poured in from every law firm in America. Bendini, Lambert and Locke were a small, well-respected firm, but their offer exceeded Mitch's wildest expectations: a fantastic salary, a new home, and the keys to a brand new BMW.

Except for the mysterious deaths of previous lawyers with the firm. And the FBI investigations. And the secret files.

Long before John Grisham’s name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby - writing his first novel.

A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor

One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner A Summons to Memphis introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, residents, with the exception of Phillip, of Memphis, Tennessee.

During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his older, unmarried sisters. They plead with Phillip to help avert their widower father's impending remarriage to a younger woman. Hesitant to get embroiled in a family drama, he reluctantly agrees to go back south, only to discover the true motivation behind his sisters' concern. While there, Phillip is forced to confront his domineering siblings, a controlling patriarch, and flood of memories from this troubled past.

The Widow of the South

Tennessee, 1864. On a late autumn day, near a little town called Franklin, 10,000 men will soon lie dead or dying in a battle that will change many lives for ever. None will be more changed than Carrie McGavock, who finds her home taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a field hospital. Taking charge, she finds the courage to face up to the horrors around her and, in doing so, finds a cause.

Out on the battlefield, a tired young Southern soldier drops his guns and charges forward into Yankee territory, holding only the flag of his company's colours. He survives and is brought to the hospital. Carrie recognises something in him - a willingness to die - and decides on that day, in her house, she will not let him.

For more information on any of the above email tennessee@deep-south-usa.com. If you're interested in reading books set in Tennessee, click here

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