Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Jane Marcellus

A Different Kind of Promise

How Dolly Parton saved one woman’s life

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: In I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton, New York poet Lynn Melnick blends her personal story with cultural critique to explore Dolly Parton and her work. Most of all, she credits Parton with helping her turn her life around. Melnick will appear at the 2023 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 21-22.

Read more

History Happens

Drew Gilpin Faust recalls growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s

In Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury, former Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust recalls her privileged Virginia childhood in the 1950s and her growing involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Faust will appear at the 2023 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 21-22.

Read more

The Work of Secrecy

The Girls of Atomic City tells the stories of women in wartime Oak Ridge

Denise Kiernan’s 2013 book The Girls of Atomic City chronicles the experiences of women working in the secrecy-shrouded town of Oak Ridge during WWII. The author will join Jane Marcellus to discuss the book on Facebook Live on September 19.

Read more

Recalling the “Clinton 12”

Rachel Louise Martin chronicles the battle to desegregate an East Tennessee high school

Rachel Louise Martin’s A Most Tolerant Little Town: The Explosive Beginning of School Desegregation recounts the story of the “Clinton 12,” who in 1956 were the first students to desegregate an all-white school in the South. Martin will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on June 14 and Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on June 20.

Read more

An Oak Ridge Story

Half-Life of a Secret explores a family’s secrets and a nation’s silence

In Half-Life of a Secret, Emily Strasser tells the story of her grandfather, a chemist for Oak Ridge’s World War II Manhattan Project, and how family secrets intersect with national ones.

Read more

A Piercing Wail

Reckoning asks us all to come to terms with women’s experience

Reckoning by V (formerly Eve Ensler) asks readers to understand what violence does to women and anyone who is marginalized. She’ll appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 6.

Read more