Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

Among the Pollinators

For Tennessee writers, our environment’s fate hinges on unearthing the truth about where we stand

When I look across Tennessee’s literary ecosystem, I see how many of our writers feel compelled to write about their relationship to the land. Some have intertwined their literary vision with an environmental mission. Others have devoted their work to excavating truths about our history that have lain buried for too long.

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Compact, but Planetary

Richard Powers’ Bewilderment is a meditation on grief and the possibilities of radical empathy

In an early chapter of Bewilderment, Richard Powers’ heartbreaking and transcendent new novel, astrobiologist Theo Byrne charts the far reaches of the universe for all forms of life. But caring for his troubled young son, Robin, becomes a more dangerous and profound experiment, provoking questions about radical empathy and humankind’s survival.

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Fresh Soil in Old Territory

Ron Rash’s In the Valley displays his masterful command of short fiction  

From haunting, short-form meditations on loss to a thrilling, suspenseful novella that revives an indelible antihero, In the Valley offers a distillation of Ron Rash’s storytelling mastery at its best. Rash will discuss In the Valley at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 9.

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Tales of a Preservationist

A new collection of essays highlights Silas House’s life and work

The essays in Silas House: Exploring an Appalachian Writer’s Work reflect the high degree of respect and adoration that House has gained among his peers for his novels, music journalism, and plays, as well as his activism. Editor Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt gathers a thoughtful group of Appalachian scholars and literary writers to analyze House’s body of work. 

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The Curvature of the World

Great Circle explores the interconnected lives surrounding a famous woman aviator

Maggie Shipstead’s century-spanning Great Circle traces aviator Marian Graves’ single-minded pursuit of flight and the lives of numerous characters connected to her, including a scandalous movie star preparing to play Marian onscreen. Shipstead will discuss the novel at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 20.

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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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