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In Conversation: Bishop Brian Cole and Pete Candler

June 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Join Bishop Brian Cole as he interviews Pete Candler on his new book, A Deeper South: The Beauty, Mystery, and Sorrow of the Southern Road, on Tuesday, June 4, at Church of the Good Samaritan, Knoxville. We are excited to partner with our friends at Union Ave. Books and Church of the Good Samaritan to bring this exciting author to you. The event is presented free of charge!

About the Book

In A Deeper South, Pete Candler offers a travel narrative drawn from twenty-five years of road-tripping through the backroads of the American South. Featuring Candler’s own photography, the book taps into the public imagination and the process of both remembering and forgetting that define our collective memory of place. In this highly personal investigation of the impact of white supremacy and the regime of silence on his own family, Candler reflects on the underexplored South in his attempt to confront Southern memory and nostalgia. In the process, he realizes that he is more connected to those histories than he ever imagined.

With the wit of a Southern storyteller and the eye of a photographer, Candler takes the reader on a journey that spans two continents, six states, and countless miles of asphalt. Along the way, we meet the “galaxy’s no. 1 Elvis fan,” stop to ponder roadside markers and small-town monuments, and contemplate what makes the South both distinct from, and emblematic of, the nation of which it is a part. The stories that he uncovers can only be found off the beaten path, away from the curated tourist experiences and mass culture located near the interstate exit ramp.

A Deeper South is about Candler’s journeys to see the South and understand it, and he invites us to ride along.

Here at the Diocese of East Tennessee, we encourage you to shop local for your books. We are partnering with Union Ave. Books of Knoxville to host this event. You may pre-order copies of the book by visiting the Union Ave. Books website, or by calling 865-951-2180. The book will be out on stands on May 21st, 2024.

About the Author

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Pete Candler is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Commonweal, The Bitter Southerner, The Christian Century, The Chicago Tribune, Southern Cultures, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. He now lives in Asheville, where he writes about memory and forgetfulness in the American South. His new photography collection, THE ROAD TO UNFORGETTING: DETOURS IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 1997 – 2022 (Horse & Buggy Press), was published in November 2022, and his non-fiction narrative, A DEEPER SOUTH: THE BEAUTY, MYSTERY, AND SORROW OF THE SOUTHERN ROAD (University of South Carolina), will be published in May 2024.

A graduate of Wake Forest University and The University of Cambridge, Pete taught theology at Baylor University for a decade before realizing he is an artist, not an academic. He left behind a tenured position at Baylor and relocated with his family back to the Southeast, where he began writing fiction and essays. In 2018 he began his ongoing study in word and image of amnesia and remembrance in “A Deeper South.”

“I felt that the academic life was slowly diminishing me,” Pete says, “making me more concerned about what other people thought of me and what I could tell people that I knew. I came to feel fragmented, alienated from the parts of myself that I felt my academic life was forcing into retreat. I left my position in the university and moved back to the Southeast, where my wife and I both have deep roots. The land of my kin, my history, my literary heroes. I began writing furiously; short stories, poems, novels, plays, essays. And returning to the road, taking photographs and making short films. What became A DEEPER SOUTH began as an attempt to put myself back together, and to understand more truthfully the region and the family I belong to, and my role within them.” In addition to his books and essays, Pete hosts THE DETOURIST podcast (and Substack), a virtual road trip through the landscape of memory in the American South.


June 4
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Diocese of East Tennessee
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Good Samaritan, Knoxville
425 North Cedar Bluff Road
Knoxville, TN 37923 United States
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(865) 693-9591
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