The American South has a long tradition of producing literary giants, and no state has a more impressive roster than Tennessee. Across the state, feel the presence of writers who changed the American literary landscape.
Visit the boyhood home and burial place of “Roots” author Alex Haley at the Alex Haley Museum in Henning, or explore the Knoxville riverfront immortalized in Cormac McCarthy’s “Suttree.” In picturesque Franklin, visit Carnton Plantation, the Civil War home of Carrie McGavock, where the moving story of Robert Hick’s bestselling “The Widow of the South” unfolds.
Tour cities and towns that shaped the lives of iconic American novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists and historians. Knoxville is the birthplace of writer and poet Nikki Giovanni; legendary film critic, screenwriter and novelist James Agee, and influential horror scribe Karl Edward Wagner. Thomas Harris (“The Silence of the Lambs”) hails from Jackson, while Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winner Peter Taylor was born in Trenton. Pioneer Davy Crockett made impressive contributions to our national literary heritage; visit his birthplace in Limestone, his boyhood home at Crockett Tavern or the David Crockett Cherokee Museum in Lawrenceburg.
Surround yourself with rare books and one-of-a-kind texts in Tennessee’s historic libraries. Dig into genealogy at Knoxville’s East Tennesee History Center. Explore thousands of rare manuscripts and photographs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, Harrogate or more than 7,000 Victorian books at the Hughes Free Public Library in beautiful Rugby. Jackson’s Lane College Historic District includes the J.K. Daniels Library, with an excellent collection of African-American documents.