- Propelled by Story; Constrained by Truth -
Exploring the Boundaries of Narrative Non-Fiction
Saturday, April 25
1pm - 4pm
Narrative nonfiction authors face many decisions along their journey from proposal to print. Whether curating material for a historical snapshot, recreating conversations for a travelogue, or painting a scene for a memoir, the challenges are the same: where to begin, what to tell and leave out (and in what order), how much dialogue versus backstory to employ, and—of course—that elephant in the writing room: to what extent are we constrained by the truth? Author Chris Register will be addressing these and other questions pertinent to the construction of an enjoyable narrative during this afternoon writing workshop.
- Horton Vineyards Virtual Book Club -Author Talk & Wine Pairing
Sunday, April 26
1pm - 2pm
Zoom Virutal Meeting
Chris will be chatting virtually with Shannon Horton of Central Virginia's Horton Vineyards about how his project and especially his latest book, American Southwest, pair so well with three of Horton's reds: Sweet Concord, Titfor Tat, and Tannat. Join us for some afternoon conversation spiced up by Virginia's viticultural bounty.
- Author Q&A and Book Signing -
Saturday, June 27
3pm - 4:30pm
Handley Robinson Auditorium
Chris and the touring rig will be visiting the birthplace of Patsy Cline for a presentation and book signing at the Handley Library's auditorium, as part of the author series organized by literary organization 1455. You'd be CRAZY to miss it!
News & Past Events
Cycling journalist Chris Register set forth into the United States to hear from the real America, escaping the cable news pundits and internet trolls on a Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bicycle. State by state, he found that the bike also served as a conversation piece on wheels, opening up folks to sharing their thoughts on who we are, where we come from, and where we might be headed. After a cumulative year on the road logging some 16,000 miles and 400 interviews, it's now Chris's turn to share what he discovered.
Learn more at:
"[Great Lakes States] is much more than a travel book as there are no recommendations on roads to drive, places to stay or eat. As his interviewees/hosts (all total strangers) address what they love about America, what they worry about, what they're hopeful about, how they have been impacted by the US, their families and life work and history, Register shares this with the reader and gradually we begin to "see" US through the eyes especially of small town America."
-Sue Hoyt Aiken (Peace Corps Volunteer; Ethiopia 1962-64)
See full review here.
"Well, when I started reading Conversations With US - Great Lakes States, I kept my tin of book darts at hand so I could mark any bits that I found noteworthy or delightful and might want to quote in a review. Reader, I emptied the tin."
-Melissa McCurley (Wabash River Cycle Club)
See full review here.
"Register’s writing style lets the subject do the talking, and gives the reader a sense of being part of the conversations. It’s the stories and voices of those subjects that make this book compelling. They are told chronologically as Register makes his way across the Southwest. Every day brings a new person with a story to tell -- and they are all unique. This device, which kept me staying up late a few times, makes you want to find out who’s next and what they have to say.
And what they had to say, gave me hope for the future."
-Cheryl Thornburg (Goodreads user / American Southwest)
"This is a kind of Steinbeckian travelogue, 'Travels with Charley' style, but the remarkable thing about this book in our tech age is that he took the time to really get to know his subjects, to learn and then transcribe their stories, and then marvel about them."
-David Kahler (Amazon reviewer / Great Lakes States)
"This is an excellent book for all kinds of readers – travel enthusiasts, history buffs, fans of bicycle tours, people who want to know America better, and those who want to explore political and cultural issues. If any of these sound like you, I urge you to pick up this volume of Conversations With US."
-TBF (Amazon reviewer / American Southwest)
"In this day of bourgeoning human numbers and mass communication it seems that those who rise to power espouse only extreme and angry points of view. Moderate folk, among whom I see myself, hold back, afraid to approach sensitive subjects with our neighbors and leaving our thoughts unheard. Chris has invited our voices. His bold interviews have documented some individuals who are angry and dissatisfied. He has questioned them deeply, hoping to understand the causes of their angst. More importantly, as I see his work, he has met citizens with little, and only local, name recognition who sound more intelligent and aware than those political party wonks called leaders who serve narrowly-focused constituencies and think only of winning."
-Harley Shaw (Amazon reviewer + American Southwest interviewee)
"Part memoir and travel essay, this is an outstanding way to cross the country alongside someone who has a gift for storytelling and a fundamental desire to unite us through our most human of commonalities."
-Alicia Cahalane Lewis (Amazon reviewer / Great Lakes States)
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