Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A Uniquely Tennessee Take on the Haunted House

Girl meets house, house has ghosts, in Cherie Priest’s new novel

the-family-plot-cover_priestf16With the continued existence of her family’s Nashville salvage business hanging in the balance, Dahlia Dutton leads a work team to dismantle an old house—an old haunted house—in Chattanooga in Cherie Priest’s delightfully spooky The Family Plot.

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Telling the Whole Story

In work and life, Dorothy Allison defies narrow categories

bastardoutofcarolinaWhether she’s writing about her tough, spirited characters or her own difficult life, Dorothy Allison seems determined to defy all narrow categories, seeking instead to express the full complexity of human experience. Allison, who serves as the 2016 Acuff Chair at the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University, will speak on October 27 at 8 p.m. in Clement Auditorium on the APSU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

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Winning the Literary Lotto

Memphis writer Jamey Hatley wins two national grants for work in progress

Jamey Hatley has received a total of $55,000 this year from the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the National Endowment for the Arts to work on her first novel, The Dream-Singers. The book is set in Memphis, beginning with the birth of twins in 1968—one born as Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his final speech and the other when he is assassinated.

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What’s Measured in Time

Virginia Reeves explores the way a passion for work can imprison the worker

In her debut novel, Work Like Any Other, Virginia Reeves explores the nature of work, how it defines and shapes families. Reeves will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 14-16.

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What She Does All Day

Helen Ellis dishes on poker, Twitter, and American Housewife


Whether she’s cracking “Southern Lady Code,” chronicling a neighborly dispute that metastasizes into an epic battle, or skewering the conventions of reality television, Helen Ellis manages to be both outrageous and utterly believable. Ellis will discuss American Housewife at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 14-16.

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The Ties of Blood

In Robert Olen Butler’s Perfume River, Vietnam haunts soldiers and their families decades after the war

perfume-river-by-robert-olen-butlerIn Robert Olen Butler’s new novel, Perfume River, the past is very much present as an aging history professor struggles to shake traumatic memories of the Vietnam War and the way it tore his family apart. Butler will discuss Perfume River at Crosstown Arts in Memphis on October 13 at 6 p.m., and also at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 14-16.

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