Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Different Worlds

A high school couple tries to bridge the social divide between wealth and poverty

Susan Beckham Zurenda’s new novel, The Girl from the Red Rose Motel, examines the challenges faced by high school lovers from opposite sides of the tracks in small-town South Carolina. Zurenda will be the keynote speaker for the 2024 Clarksville Writers Conference at Austin Peay State University on June 5-7.

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Tiny, Memorable Moments

Gaylord Brewer explores the quirky and the profound in a new collection of nonfiction

Prolific Murfreesboro poet Gaylord Brewer turns his hand to short nonfiction in Before the Storm Takes It Away, his latest from Red Hen Press. While the structure of the 125 pieces here may project Brewer’s voice in a different light, Brewer’s fans and new readers alike will relish the opportunity to walk with the poet on his personal journey through the seasons of the year captured in this collection.

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Scars on Scars

With Shae, Mesha Maren delivers a poignant novel about love and addiction in rural Appalachia

Mesha Maren’s Shae is both a powerful queer coming-of-age novel and a meditation on the challenges of teen parenthood and the horrors of addiction. Maren will discuss Shae at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 30.

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What the Water Took

A love that is buried in one generation may be resurrected in another

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Charlie and Maude began their marriage on a homestead perched near the banks of the Cumberland River. The first child came within the year of their marriage. Eight more followed. Whooping cough claimed one of the babies, and the river’s frequent flooding eventually claimed the house.

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Perils and Prospects

From Rights to Lives surveys the evolution of racial justice movements

From Rights to Lives: The Evolution of the Black Freedom Struggle, a new anthology edited by historians Françoise N. Hamlin and Charles W. McKinney Jr., gives academics and lay people alike fresh ways to consider the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter.

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A Southern Story

Andrew Ross reconstructs the history of one Shelby County plantation from multiple perspectives

In The Realms of Oblivion, Andrew Ross tells the history of the 19th-century South through the experience of the Davies family and the Black people who worked their land in both slavery and freedom.

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