Literary Nonfiction. Women's Studies. When Baker received a MakeWork grant to write about Chattanooga's unheard voices, she had no idea that her project would take her from the homes of Chattanooga's refugees in "Landings" to what "Critical Flame" calls a "Sebaldian travelogue through the Syrian migration route" in "Reverse Migration." From her childhood home near Ferguson, Missouri, to her travels as an expatriate living in Asia, to the troubled cities of Eastern Europe, Baker explores the physical and emotional wanderings of what Mary McCarthy calls "exiles, expatriates, and internal emigres." "Adventures of a Fake Immigrant" and "Schemers" examines her ambivalent complicity in Chattanooga's rapid gentrification and the erasure of its historically black neighborhoods. Using photos, literature, and her own family's slave-owning history, Baker excavates her own past as well as Chattanooga's to try and understand the ghosts that haunt her and the city she inhabits. With a poignancy that is particularly relevant for these times, the voices in this collection echo through the text and shine brightly through the dark.
Sybil Baker is the author of IMMIGRATION ESSAYS (C&R Press, 2017), The Life Plan, TALISMANS (C&R Press, 2010), and Into This World. She is a UC Foundation Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and teaches at the Yale Writer's Conference. She has received two Make Work Artist Grants and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission. She is Fiction Editor at Drunken Boat.Author City: CHATTANOOGA, TN USA