Local Author Talk: Dr. Michael Cody on Gabriel’s Songbook

Local author Dr. Michael Amos Cody will discuss his book, Gabriel’s Songbook, on Monday, November 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The book follows the poignant journey of Gabriel, a singer and songwriter, through struggles, love, and ambition as he pursues fame and belonging. Along with talking about his own experiences in Nashville’s music business, Dr. Cody will also play his original songs.

Gabriel’s Songbook tells the story of a musician who grows up in Appalachia and finds his way to the music scene in Nashville. Pisgah Press describes the book as “gritty and lyrical, rock ‘n’ roll and old-time country, [transporting] the reader deep into that age-old dream of making the big time, and shows us the beauty and pathos that lurks underneath.”

Dr. Cody says he decided to set the story in Nashville because in recent years the city has come alive for many people thanks to TV shows and the music industry. However, the pop culture version we hear about today isn’t representative of the city Dr. Cody remembers as a songwriter there in the 1980s. He says, “I felt that through Gabriel’s story I could make observations about art in the jaws of commerce,” a story which Dr. Cody feels hasn’t been told. While the details of Gabriel’s story are similar to his own experiences, Dr. Cody says he also imagined and wrote Gabriel going down paths that Dr. Cody could have taken in real life but chose not to.

Dr. Cody is a professor in ETSU’s Department of Literature and Language. After working as a songwriter in Nashville, he earned a PhD in English from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Cody has published music albums and works of short fiction; Gabriel’s Songbook is his first novel.

To learn more about Dr. Cody’s upcoming talk or other local author appearances, please contact Pam Murray at 423-434-4454 or pam.murray@jcpl.net, or visit our online calendar.

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