Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Jim Patterson

Always Graceful

Margaret Renkl discusses her new essay collection, Graceland, at Last

Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South collects 60 of Margaret Renkl’s essays for The New York Times. Her fascinating explanations of the natural world are the standouts, but she also weighs in with authority on politics and culture. Renkl will discuss the book at a free ticketed event held in Harpeth Hall’s Frances Bond Davis Theater in Nashville on September 14, at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on September 16, and at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

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Politics for Christians

Former governor Bill Haslam discusses the role of faith in government

Former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam does a deep dive into the two subjects not fit for polite conversation in Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square. Haslam, also the former mayor of Knoxville, outlines a way of approaching the role of religious faith in the hardball arena of politics. He will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

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A Book for Book Nerds

Ross King details the book industry of the Italian Renaissance

Vespasiano da Bisticci, called “king of the world’s booksellers” and “prince of Florentine booksellers” by contemporaries in the 15th century, makes for a compelling central figure in Ross King’s The Bookseller of Florence. King will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 19.

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Being Good Is Not Enough

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Archibald wrestles with his father’s legacy

In Shaking the Gates of Hell, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Archibald of The Birmingham News struggles, even anguishes, over the legacy of his father, a United Methodist minister. Archibald will discuss Shaking the Gates of Hell at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 11 at 6 p.m. CST.

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Why Merle Haggard Deserves a Nobel Prize

Peter Guralnick discusses his latest book, Looking to Get Lost

In a wide-ranging interview with Chapter 16, music journalist and biographer Peter Guralnick recalls some of his most famous subjects, from Solomon Burke to Johnny Cash, and explains why the longest piece in his new collection of profiles, Looking to Get Lost, “was the story I felt I had to write.”

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