Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Adam Prince

A Recognition of the World’s Mystery

Dan Chaon talks with Chapter 16 about his unsettling new story collection, Stay Awake

October 18, 2012 Dan Chaon first made his name as a writer of short stories, with work appearing in The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. After publishing two highly acclaimed story collections (the second collection, Among the Missing, was a finalist for the National Book Award), Chaon went on to write two stunning novels: You Remind Me of Me and Await Your Reply. It might be tempting to see his latest offering, a short-story collection called Stay Awake, as a return to form, but the book is actually the author’s most visionary work to date. Dan Chaon will give a reading on October 18 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville as part of the Gertrude and Harold Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in Buttrick 101.

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On Happiness and the Thematic Resonance of Pigeon Racing

On this Indonesian slum tour, an American novelist discovers more than he expected

December 1, 2011 The pigeon races are going to be a scene in the novel I’ve come to Jakarta to research. Thematic resonance is what I’ve told Ronny. It took me half an hour to explain. His English isn’t perfect, but I don’t think that was really the problem. It was more that he just didn’t see the point.

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Out of Carolina—But Always Of It

Once a working-class kid, always a working-class kid, according to novelist Dorothy Allison—which explains why she works so hard to make each word absolutely right

Dorothy Allison is an unrelenting realist, steeped in the working-class South. She began her career with the short-story collection Trash (1988), published by the feminist and lesbian press Firebrand Books. Her first novel, Bastard out of Carolina (1992), was a finalist for the National Book Award and continues to be widely read and championed today. Since then she has written a book of essays, Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature (1994); a meditation on storytelling, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (1995); and a second novel, Cavedweller (1998). Each has continued to attract critical success and a large cadre of fans who appreciate her craft and her willingness to write about characters on the margins.

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