My Changed Tennessee

Reflections On The Place I Don’t Belong and Always Belong

We hear so much about presidential candidates–and so little about life in the states that elect them. In “Beyond the Circus,” writers take us off the trail and give us glimpses of politically important places. Today, Tennessee.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it meant to grow up in rural East Tennessee. I live in a small community about ten minutes from the farm my parents brought me home to after I was born. Forty acres of hilly pastureland bordered by thick evergreen woods with a creek running through. …