Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Ed Tarkington

Of Blood and Darkness

Cormac McCarthy returns with The Passenger and Stella Maris

A cult hero for the first half of his career, Cormac McCarthy is now a literary institution. As he approaches 90, he delivers two companion novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris, which fuse dizzying intellectual exploration with his trademark gift for depicting outsiders drawn unwillingly into gripping intrigues with lethal consequences.

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A Factory of Dreams

Mesha Maren’s Perpetual West is a fearless exploration of borders

Perpetual West, Mesha Maren’s second novel, follows a troubled couple from Appalachia to the U.S.-Mexico border on a perilous journey of self-discovery.

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Such a Solitary Thing

Lucy Barton returns in Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William!

With Oh William!, novelist Elizabeth Strout delivers a tour de force on the mysteries of what it means to be human. Strout will appear in conversation with Susan Orlean and Ann Patchett at a virtual event on October 20 as part of the Salon@615 series.

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The Choice Either to Wail or Smile

Tim Gautreaux talks with Chapter 16 about his story collection, Signals

From the Chapter 16 archive: Chattanooga-area novelist Tim Gautreaux talks about the pitfalls of regionalism, the influence of James Dickey and Flannery O’Connor, the challenges of writing short fiction, and the imperatives of religious faith.

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A Pretty Place to Die

Chris Offutt’s The Killing Hills delivers a taut, gripping Kentucky-noir thriller

Few writers today can boast of a body of work as wide-ranging and virtuosic as Chris Offutt’s. His novels and short stories bend genre and upend expectations. The Killing Hills is no exception: A taut, gripping thriller, it also draws us deep into the lives of its troubled characters with wit and compassion. Chris Offutt will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on June 17.

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Reconstructing a Western Myth

In his debut novel, Dennis McCarthy imagines an alternate fate for history’s most notorious gunslinger

“So here’s the gospel story. Gospel as I know it anyway. Memory’s a funny thing. It’ll fool you.” Thus begins Dennis McCarthy’s reimagining of the legend of Henry McCarty, aka William H. Bonney, aka William Roberts, aka Billy the Kid. The Gospel According to Billy the Kid is at once an unromantic account of the violence and lawlessness of the late 19th-century West and a rollicking good yarn.

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