Author, naturalist to speak on Common Book topic at Pellissippi State

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Pellissippi State Community College hosts author and naturalist Doris Gove for a lecture beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

Gove shares her personal experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the talk, which takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The lecture is free and the community is invited.

“The second edition of her book ‘Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Southern Appalachians’ came out in 2013,” said Carol Luther, professor of English, “so Doris is familiar with current conditions on the trail and can update us on some of the problems and circumstances that Bill Bryson reported on in 1996.”

Gove’s presentation is part of the yearlong schedule of events tied to Pellissippi State’s 2013-2014 Common Book, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson. The book, Bryson’s personal account of hiking the Appalachian Trail, has inspired discussions on topics as wide-ranging as ecology, biological diversity, the effects of tourism on the AT, the importance of outdoor activity and the tradition of nature writing.

“We look forward to hearing Doris’ expert perspective on the trail, which will be a contrast to novice hiker Bryson’s experiences,” said Luther.

Gove is also the author of the “Audubon Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges: Southeast.” She is co-author of several children’s books, including “My Mother Talks to Trees,” “Red-Spotted Newt” and “A Water Snake’s Year.”

In his first-person narrative, Bryson reflects on the many emotions, logistical problems and incidents to be expected for a hiker on the AT. His account also reflects on the history of the Appalachian Trail and National Park Service, the depredations of disease and insects on trees and plants, the need for environmental awareness and stewardship, and the ever-present threat of bears.

For more information about the lecture or Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or