Search Literary Knox

Knoxville's literary legacy, mapped out.

This city constructed on no known paradigm, a mongrel architecture reading back through the works of man in a brief delineation of the aberrant disordered and mad. A carnival of shapes upreared on the river plain that has dried up the sap of the earth for miles about. (from suttree)

Join us for McCarthy Fest in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 1st and 2nd, 2018 as we celebrate the work of American author Cormac McCarthy.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures department will be continuing its AuthorFest series with McCarthyFest this November. Join us as we celebrate Cormac McCarthy’s literature, life, and influence in a two-day festival of words and music.
Alex Haley

Alex Haley’s first book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), came out of a series of interviews he conducted with the civil rights leader for Playboy Magazine. His second novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976), was a fictionalized version of his own family’s history going back seven generations.

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. When he was four years old, his family moved to Knoxville, where his father, Charles, worked as a lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Cormac would reside off and on in Knoxville for the next 30+ years.

Nikki Giovanni

Yolanda Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. was born in Knoxville on June 7, 1943. Her family soon moved to Cincinnati, but Nikki returned to Knoxville every summer to visit her grandparents at 400 Mulvaney Street (now Hall of Fame Drive). In 1958, Nikki returned to Knoxville, living with her grandparents and attending Austin High School on Vine Avenue (now Vine Middle Magnet School).

James Agee
James Rufus Agee was born in Knoxville on November 28, 1909 to his mother, Laura Tyler Agee, and his father, Hugh James (Jay) Agee. His father died in an automobile accident on May 19, 1916, an event that shaped the remainder of Agee’s life.
Mapping Knoxville’s literary legacy
Our map joins moments in literature with GPS coordinates. Image-rich descriptions of a place’s significance within specific works tie us to these authors in a new way as Knoxville’s literature is reawakened in the city that surrounds us.
Mapping Knoxville’s literary legacy
Our map joins moments in literature with GPS coordinates. Image-rich descriptions of a place’s significance within specific works tie us to these authors in a new way as Knoxville’s literature is reawakened in the city that surrounds us.