Published March 18, 2022

An Alabama native, Imani Perry (South to America) returns to the region of her upbringing in this book, crafting a narrative of the real people and places that make up what we abstractly consider the South, ultimately revealing the deep-seated truths and definitions they hold of America’s past and present. The Carol Troxell Reader honors the memory of Carol Troxell, thirty-year owner of New Dominion Bookshop, by celebrating voracious reading. Each year, the Festival selects one author to be featured.

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Thanks to our bookseller for this event, New Dominion Bookshop.

“[Perry] melds memoir, travel narrative, and history in an intimate, penetrating journey through the South…. A graceful, finely crafted examination of America’s racial, cultural, and political identity. Perry always delivers.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[A] saturated, gorgeously written, and keenly revelatory travelogue…Perry’s southern tour is intimate and encompassing, finely laced and steely, affecting and transformative.” —Booklist, starred review

“In South to America, Perry shows readers that there is no one archetype of the American South, as she considers everything from immigrant communities to the legacy of slavery to her own ancestral roots.” –Time

South to America marks time like Beloved did. Similarly, we will talk not solely of books about the south, but books generally as before or after South to America. I have known and loved the South for four decades and Imani Perry has shown me that there is so much more in our region’s fleshy folds to know, explore and love. It is simply the most finely crafted and rigorously conceived book about our region, and nation, I have ever read.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy


Donors to the Carol Troxell Fund

Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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