Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

A Fight Over the Mountain Commons

Ginseng Diggers traces the history of Appalachia’s root and herb trade

In the 19th century, large numbers of Appalachians supported themselves by harvesting herbs, roots, and other botanicals that grew wild in the mountain woodlands. These “sang diggers,” as they were colloquially known, and the story of their importance in the medicinal botanical trade are the focus of Luke Manget’s Ginseng Diggers.

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The Hard Beauty

Unsparing honesty about grief fuels Charles Dodd White’s A Year Without Months

At the center of A Year Without Months — the compelling new memoir-in-essays by Knoxville writer Charles Dodd White — lies a brutal biographical fact: the suicides of White’s father, uncle, and son. From these events, White fashions a work of candor, compassion, and hard-won beauty. Charles Dodd White will discuss A Year Without Months at Dos Gatos Coffee (sponsored by Atlas Books) in Johnson City on May 19.

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Made to Survive

Poet Ocean Vuong finds an original voice for grief in Time Is a Mother

In his new collection, Time Is a Mother, poet Ocean Vuong addresses his grief for his late mother and, through the lens of his own hard-won survival, brings energy and originality to this elegiac work. Ocean Vuong will discuss Time Is a Mother at a ticketed event at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 12.

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Defenseless Against the Memory

Bobby C. Rogers brings depth and richness to his poetry’s West Tennessean setting

In Shift Work, West Tennessee poet Bobby C. Rogers mines the small-town front rooms, farmers’ fields, glass-strewn roadsides, and neglected cityscapes that suffuse the lives and memories of his poems’ many Tennessean characters.

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Called to the Water

A global fleet of stories about the deep

Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue — a new anthology of speculative fiction co-edited by acclaimed Memphis writer Sheree Renée Thomas — recognizes and celebrates the boundless wealth of creative sustenance offered by our world’s bodies of water.

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How Much Do We Owe the Dead?

In The Sentence, a customer’s ghost haunts a bookstore over the course of one harrowing year

Louise Erdrich’s bookstore-set ghost story, The Sentence, takes place between All Souls’ Eve 2019 and All Souls’ Eve 2020, a year of troubling, destabilizing events, when the “rules for being alive kept changing.” Erdrich will discuss The Sentence at a ticketed virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 9.

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