My Hometown- A challenge

I am from Knoxville, TN, right outside the Smoky Mountains. I have visited and lived lots of other places, but once I can see those Mtns. on the horizon, I feel like I’m home. It’s hard to explain, but just seeing them every day somehow makes life better.

In the last year, we’ve moved back. It’s been an interesting ride, and some days I wonder why, or if we’ll stay. Either way, I know that this little bit of geography will always hold a special spot in my heart. That said, I thought I’d take a moment and introduce some authors who hail from this spot, or who lived here while they wrote. It’s an eclectic group for such a bitty place.

1. Cormac McCarthy– This gentleman was born in Sevierville and grew up in Knoxville/surrounding areas. One of his novels, Suttree,Β  is set in Knoxville. The Road won the Pulitzer, and several of his other novels have been made into movies. (All the Pretty Horses)

2. James Agee– Born in the shadow of the UT campus (Fort Sander’s area for locals), his autobiographical novel A Death in the Family also won the Pulitzer. Lots of period place references.

3. William M. Bass– This is the forensic anthropoligist behind the Body Farm. Yes, it’s a real place, and there are dead bodies under Neyland Stadium.Β In addition to the countless academic papers he has published, he co-authors a series of mysteries under the name Jefferson Bass. While not actually born in Knoxville, he claims it as his hometown now.

4. Nikki Giovanni– The famed poet, now a professor at Virginia Tech & Fisk, was born in Knoxville, but moved to Ohio as a child.

5. Darby Conley– The creator of the Get Fuzzy comic strip moved to Knoxville when he was 2 and went to Doyle HS in South Knoxville. Watch for Rob to wear a 1982 World’s Fair shirt. πŸ™‚

6. Frances Hodgson Burnett– Creator of The Little Princess (and who I NEVER knew had ever left England) began her writing career here in Knoxville, and married a Knoxville native (Mr. Burnett). Who knew? Eventually, she earned enough to move back to Europe though and never returned to TN.

7. Lowell Cunningham– A.k.a the guy who made up Men in Black. I love those movies. I guess IΒ  need to read the comics some day.

8. Alex Haley– author of Roots is from here (Norris, but close enough).

It’s an interesting little list.Β  SO- here’s my challenge to you:

Find an author from your hometown, or one who lived in your hometown for a significant amount of time. Read something by them. Bonus points if it’s someone you haven’t read, or who you haven’t read in forever. Comment and tell me who it is and what you thought, or blog about it and let us all know. πŸ™‚

If you participate, you can copy the image and link back to this post or to the page up top. πŸ™‚

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6 Comments on “My Hometown- A challenge”

  1. Kat says:

    This is my dilemma. Is a hometown where you were born, grew up in or live as an adult?
    Who knew that there were so many awards in one country? I wonder how many we have in Canada?

    • There are A LOT of awards in Canada, but some of these are Canadian/International too. I’ll try and remember to specify. πŸ™‚ As far as the challenge, when people ask you where you’re from, where do you answer? I guess the “hometown” of your heart is the one I had in mind. πŸ™‚

  2. jamieahughes says:

    I’m an Arkansan, but I highly doubt anyone is from my little hole in the wall town! However, I am proud to say I am from the state that gave birth to Johnny Cash. I might have to research this a little for myself!

    • Maybe you’ll be surprised! I was πŸ™‚ Happy hunting! (feel free to use anyone from the next biggest place too…) It’s interesting to see how someone else portrays the places and events you see every day and don’t think about.

  3. Thanks Christi! It surprised me too. πŸ™‚

    For anyone playing along, I’ve copied this post to a separate page, and you can comment there too.

  4. Christi Wampler says:

    I love this! Knoxville has some cool peeps. I didn’t know that about Burnette either. Very cool!


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