Author Kai Harris to Visit SoLit

Chattanooga, TN – Author Kai Harris will visit SoLit to speak about her debut novel, What the Fireflies Knew on October 1st at 3:00 p.m. at the Arts Building, 301 E11th St. At the event, Harris will read excerpts from her book and talk about its background as well as answer questions from the attendees. The event is a partnership with The Book & Cover bookstore.

About What the Fireflies Knew– Described by Kirkus Reviews as “a story of Black girlhood from a promising new voice in fiction,”  What the Fireflies Knew is a coming-of-age novel that follows KB, a young Black girl from Detroit, after her father dies from an overdose. The ripple effects from her father’s addiction leads to their family losing their home. KB, after being sent to Michigan with her sister to live with their grandfather, attempts to make sense of and navigate a world turned upside down. What the Fireflies Knew has been selected as a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by several publications and magazines such as Bookriot, Essence, and Buzzfeed and has also been selected asa Marie Claire Book Club pick and featured as an add-on with Book of the month.   

About Kai Harris – Originally from Detroit Michigan, Harris is a Western Michigan University PhD graduate and assistant professor at Santa Clara University. She is passionate about uplifting the Black community through her realistic fiction that centers around the Black experience. She has several works published in magazines, journals, and websites like Lit HubGuernicaKweli Journal, and has also published essays, poetry, and peer-reviewed academic articles that focus on Black girlhood and womanhood, the slave narrative genre, and Black identity. Harris has been an active writer for many years. Her first short story, “The Waitress,” was published in 2017 and was featured on Longform’s Fiction Pick of the Week. Her short story, “While We Live,” won the Gwen Frostic Creative Writing Award in 2020 and was published in Guernica in 2021. Harris has also spoken at several conferences like the National Black Writers Conference in 2017 and 2018.

About SoLit – Founded in 1952, SoLit has evolved into a literary arts hub for Chattanooga. Previously known as Southern Lit Alliance, the mission is to deliver literary arts experiences that engage young people and adults in a life-long love of reading, writing, and community conversation. Each year, SoLit reaches 6,000 children and adults with programs such as literature festivals, writing workshops, book therapy groups, writing contests for children and outreach to jails and youth in underserved communities. We see literature has the incomparable power to inspire, connect, and uplift, but additionally, the benefits of reading literature are far-reaching and include improved critical thinking skills, empathy for others, vocabulary, writing ability, imagination, and cultural literacy for all ages. SoLit shares stories that matter. For more information, go to

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