Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Ed Tarkington

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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Cutting Remembrances

Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds, discusses the delicate art of writing about war

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: A National Book Award Finalist and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, The Yellow Birds by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers has been hailed by a host of literary luminaries as an instant classic. Written in lyrical prose that veers between terse understatement and vivid figurative language, The Yellow Birds is a rich literary experience as well as a harrowing narrative about the effects of war on both soldiers and families. 

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Blood and Gold

Power, desire, and survival collide in Ben Fountain’s Devil Makes Three

Ben Fountain’s Devil Makes Three is a pulse-quickening adventure and espionage thriller set against the political turmoil of early 1990s Haiti. Fountain will appear at the 2023 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 21-22.

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On This Hill

A neighborhood unites to protect a child in James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is a powerful tale of early 20th-century Jewish and African American communities bonding together to protect a disabled orphan. McBride will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 11.

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The Sublime and the Ridiculous

Frank Bascombe returns for a final road trip in Richard Ford’s Be Mine

Richard Ford’s latest Frank Bascombe novel, Be Mine, marks Frank’s fifth and purportedly final curtain call as whimsical Everyman, shrewdly dissecting the shifting landscape of American life and his uncertain place in it.

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Nothing More Autobiographical

Lorrie Moore’s See What Can Be Done is a window into a lively mind

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: “Pick a thing up, study it, shake it, skip it across a still surface to see how much felt and lively life got baked into it,” writes Lorrie Moore in her collection, See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary.

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