IN STORE: Mary Liza Hartong, author of Love and Hot Chicken, in conversation with Kim Baldwin

Mary Liza Hartong's author photoPhoto of Kim BaldwinParnassus Books is pleased to welcome Mary Liza Hartong to celebrate her new book, Love and Hot Chicken: A Delicious Southern Novel, in conversation with Kim Baldwin.

This is a free event which will take place IN STORE on Tuesday, February 20th at 6:30pm Central Time. Because space will be limited, registration is required to attend this event. Please register for free by filling out the form below! (Note: If for any reason you need to cancel your registration, please call the store at 615-953-2243 at least 24 hours before the event so your space can be provided to another guest.) Masks are strongly encouraged during this event.

About the Book

The debut of a dynamite new voice from the South, Love and Hot Chicken is a spicy and hilarious Tennessee story about family, friendship, fried chicken, and two girls in love.

The Chickie Shak is something of a historical landmark. Red clapboard walls, thriving wasp population, yard-toilets resplendent with sunflowers. My best friend Lee Ray and I used to come after our softball games and snag a picnic table while our mammas ordered the home team special. Truth is, most people around here order the same thing until the day somebody throws their ashes off a roller coaster at Dollywood. The line snakes around the building as far as you can see, the grimiest bunch of Jessies, Pearls, and Scooters you ever did behold, hobnobbing in the parking lot from noon until night.

When PJ Spoon returns home for her beloved daddy's funeral, she doesn't expect to stick around. Why abandon her PhD program at Vanderbilt for the humble charms of her hometown, Pennywhistle, Tennessee? Mamma's broken heart, that's why. But truth be told, PJ's own heart ain't doing too good either. She impulsively takes a job as a fry cook at Pennywhistle's beloved Chickie Shak, where locals gather for Nashville-style hot chicken. It may not be glamorous, but it's something to do.

Fate shakes up PJ's life again when the town rallies around the terribly retro and terribly fun Hot Chicken Pageant. PJ finally notices her cute redheaded coworker Boof, a singer-songwriter with a talent as striking as her curly hair, and learns to fear her smack-talking manager, Linda.

As PJ and Boof fall for each other, Boof's search for her birth mother--a Pennywhistle native--catapults the budding couple into a mystery that might be better left unsolved. The Chickie Shak pageant takes off, spurring old rivalries and new friendships in this tale of unexpected connections and new beginnings.

About the Author

Mary Liza Hartong lives and writes in her hometown of Nashville. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She also holds a master's from Dartmouth in Creative Writing and a master's from the University College Cork in British and American Literature via Fulbright grant. Mary Liza is the aunt of five boisterous nieces and a proud member of the queer community. When she's not writing, you can find her combing yard sales for treasures with her fiancĂ©e, Bridget. Love and Hot Chicken is her first novel.

About Kim Baldwin

Kim Baldwin is the digital editor for the Nashville Scene. Her writing can be found in places like the Nashville Scene, Joy the Baker and on Substack. Originally a blogger, Kim started The Blonde Mule in 2006 and turned her popular interview series into a podcast. On Ladyland, Kim interviews women like Samantha Irby, Mary Laura Philpott and Destiny O. Birdsong. Kim is now writing at theblondemule.substack, and teaches Social Media for Writers at The Porch.

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
Parnassus Books
3900 Hillsboro Pike Suite 14
Nashville, TN 37215

Registration: Mary Liza Hartong

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Books: 
Love and Hot Chicken: A Delicious Southern Novel By Mary Liza Hartong Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063304796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - February 20th, 2024