Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Jane Marcellus

A Light on in the Mica Windows

Joy Harjo’s Poet Warrior illuminates her journey with words

Blending poetry and prose, Joy Harjo’s second memoir, Poet Warrior, braids her story of becoming an accomplished poet and modern Native woman — always guided by her ancestors in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation — into the larger context of Native history.

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More Than a Footnote

Kim Ruehl explores the life of activist Zilphia Horton in A Singing Army

In A Singing Army: Zilphia Horton and the Highlander Folk School, Kim Ruehl makes a spirited, independent woman central to the story of the legendary training center for labor and civil rights activists.

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A Modern Mother’s Surprising Secret

In The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, a daughter confronts her mother’s Dickensian childhood

Growing up, Justine Cowan struggled with her demanding, ambitious mother, Eileen, a talented pianist who claimed noble Welsh ancestry. In her memoir, The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, Cowan explores the grim truth of her mother’s origins and comes to understand their fraught relationship.

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What We See Transforms Us

Essayists explore what can’t be unseen in Don’t Look Now

In Don’t Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn’t Seen, a collection of essays edited by Kristen Iversen and David Lazar, 18 writers explore images they wished they’d looked away from — but didn’t.

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Diverse and Complicated

Three Appalachian women tell their stories in Voices Worth the Listening

Thomas Burton’s Voices Worth the Listening: Three Women of Appalachia invites readers into the lives of three women from the Blue Ridge Mountains, allowing them to tell their unique stories of struggle and resilience.

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Meeting Aunt Z

A memorable first encounter with Tennessee

Uncle K got to be a good provider, as men were supposed to be then, and Aunt Z got to be a good wife. Best of all, they never had to see each other.

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