Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 7 from Mississippi to Tennessee.
Friday, February 1, 2019
My new friend and sales rep Jess Pearson and I made a pilgrimage to William Faulkner’s grave before starting our road trip from Oxford, Mississippi to Nashville via the peaceful, historical Natchez Trace Parkway. It was a long drive, so we stopped in Collinwood for a cup of coffee and some sugar-free fudge, and then at my editor Gary’s house in Franklin, where I got to see The Weight of a Piano lined up alphabetically next to Peter Carey and Raymond Carver and others on the wall of shelves containing all the books he’s ever edited. Swoon.
The reading at the legendary Parnassus Books was terrific, and impressively attended, especially for a Friday night in Nashville. I was thrilled to meet Karen Hayes, who along with Ann Patchett, owns the store. We and a couple of their terrific booksellers enjoyed a great conversation over dinner at a little place called Miel.
After several days of non-stop festivities, I thought I’d drop into a profound sleep, but here I am, awake at 1 AM, still thinking about all the old and new friends I’ve gotten to see, the bookstores and booksellers whose gracious hospitality and enthusiasm for the book are connecting it with so many readers, and the incredible opportunity to spend time talking about this book and these characters that I love so much. I’m not taking a second of any of this for granted.