Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Christopher Hebert

As American As Apple Pie

Tony Horwitz talks with Chapter 16 about the complicated legacy of abolitionist John Brown

Tony Horwitz’s Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War tells the gripping story of John Brown, the abolitionist who in 1859 organized and led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in an attempt to further the cause of emancipation of the American slave population. Today Horwitz talks with Knoxville novelist Christopher Hebert, author of The Boiling Season, about a man as fascinating as his deeds. Tony Horwitz and Christopher Hebert will appear at the twenty-fourth annual Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. Hebert will discuss his novel, The Boiling Season, on October 12 at 1 p.m. in Conference Room 1A of the Nashville Public Library. Horwitz will discuss Midnight Rising on October 14 at noon in the Nashville Public Library Auditorium. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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Helping Haiti

Novelist Christopher Hebert went to Haiti hoping to help—and he left the country realizing how complicated helping can be

June 29, 2012 There is no Home Depot in Bouli, Haiti. That fact is obvious, of course, but the significance of it is substantial. It means, for instance, that virtually every material for building must be found nearby. In such a remote place, even cinder blocks are out of the question; they’re too heavy for donkeys to carry in any significant number. To build a wall you need rocks and cement. Rocks come from wherever you can find them: fields, paths, riverbeds. And the cement is not the pre-mixed kind; it requires sand, lots of it. To get the sand, you dig a hole and then you sift the dirt to remove the stones and gravel, a slow, laborious process. Making cement also requires water. Since there’s no garden hose, every bucket must be carried up from the spring, which dribbles out of a pipe a hundred yards away.

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