Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sweet Songs Never Last Too Long

A fan remembers 40 years of following John Prine

The first time I saw John Prine in concert, it was hard to know what to make of him. As a college student at the University of Kentucky in the late 1970s, a music fan since childhood, I was already a veteran of many concerts, spanning rock to folk to R&B to jazz to church music. But who had ever seen anything like this guy? 

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The Cost of Healing

Anjali Enjeti’s The Parted Earth follows several generations of personal fallout from India’s Partition

Running through the core of Anjali Enjeti’s debut novel, The Parted Earth, is the volatile atmosphere of India’s Partition, a deadly era of violence that tore apart communities and families. Spanning generations and countries, the story examines the personal costs of starting over in the face of tragedy.

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Empowering People for the Long Haul

Stephen Preskill revisits the story of Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School

Stephen Preskill’s Education in Black and White revisits the history of the Highlander Folk Center and its longtime director Myles Horton. The author weaves the stories of several activist-educators who, as they learned together at Highlander, imagined possibilities for participatory democratic life. Preskill will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 12.

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Freedom from Delusion

Joan Silber’s characters stumble through work, family, and romance in Secrets of Happiness

In seven interlocking chapters, Joan Silber’s novel Secrets of Happiness dramatizes the lives of characters at crossroads that force reassessments of values. Silber will discuss the novel at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 6.

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Afrofuturism and the Art of Seeing

Reflections on Tales of Wakanda and the visionary literature of the African diaspora

Black authors, along with visual artists, musicians, designers, and activists, have long learned to zip into the cloak of art we now call Afrofuturism to imagine possible futures that embrace truly liberated Black bodies and stories. Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, an anthology edited by Memphis native Jesse J. Holland, joins this tradition through multiple perspectives on the world of Marvel’s T’Challa.

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Beyond Catharsis

Stephanie Danler’s memoir disrupts the usual narrative structures found in stories of addiction

In Stray, Stephanie Danler doesn’t just look directly at her own childhood trauma, but tracks the borders and shapes that trauma forms in her adult life. Danler will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 4. 

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