Graceland, At Last

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“In this luminous collection” a New York Times columnist “delivers smart, beautifully crafted personal and political observations” on the American south (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Margaret Renkl’s New York Times columns offer readersa weekly dose of natural beauty, human decency, and persistent hope from her home in Nashville. Now more than sixty of those pieces have been brought together in this sparkling collection.

“People have often asked me how it feels to be the ‘voice of the South,’” writes Renkl in her introduction. “But I’m not the voice of the South, and no one else is, either.” There are many Souths—red and blue, rural and urban, mountain and coast, Black and white and brown—and no one writer could possibly represent all of them. In Graceland, At Last, Renkl writes instead from her own experience about the complexities of her homeland.

In a patchwork quilt of essays, Renkl also highlights other voices of the South. Teenagers who organized a youth march for Black Lives Matter. An urban shepherd whose sheep remove invasive vegetation. Church parishioners sheltering the homeless. Throughout, readers will find a generosity of spirit and deep attention to the world, human and nonhuman. From a writer who “makes one of all the world’s beings” (NPR), Graceland, At Last is a book for Southerners and non-Southerners alike.

“E.B. White suggested that newspapers cover nature as eagerly as commerce. . . . Renkl . . . seems like a belated answer to White . . . [crafting] graceful sentences that White would surely have enjoyed.” —Wall Street Journal

“Margaret Renkl’s perspective feels like a guiding light . . . No matter where you’re from, column after column, Renkl will make you feel right at home.” ?Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Readers' opinions about Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl

The characters in this book felt like old friends, and I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end. It's a testament to the author's talent for creating memorable and relatable personas.

I couldn't stop raving about this book to my friends and family. It's a literary gem that deserves all the praise. I can't wait to dive into more works by this talented author.

The author's ability to evoke a wide range of emotions through their words is truly remarkable. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster throughout the entire book.

More by Margaret Renkl


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