Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Liz Garrigan

Choice Poor

Julia Franks’ The Say So recalls a time when unwed mothers were hidden

Julia Franks’ second novel, The Say So, serves as a cautionary tale exploring the starkly different choices unwed mothers in the 1950s faced compared to those in the post-Roe 1980s. Her cross-generational narrative was inspired in part by her own unplanned pregnancy. Franks will appear at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville on June 14.

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Wounded Eagle

Matthew Desmond’s new book dispels myths about poverty in America

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond’s Poverty, By America offers a persuasive case that we should all become “poverty abolitionists” who refuse to live as “unwitting enemies of the poor.” Desmond will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 20.

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The City Of Light and Love

Edmund White talks with Chapter 16 about his dishy, sexy new memoir of life in Paris

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: “I hate writing,” Edmund White told a newspaper last year, but he has nevertheless been turning out celebrated titles since the 1970s, writing novels and nonfiction to wide acclaim and drawing on his life as a gay man for all but a handful of them. White moved from New York to Paris in 1983 and stayed in the City of Light for fifteen years, an experience he details in his latest book, Inside A Pearl: My Years in Paris.

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Legendary Lady

Nashville author Ariel Lawhon’s latest is a masterful novel about an unsung World War II heroine

Ariel Lawhon’s Code Name Hélène, an exhaustively researched and vividly woven historical novel, introduces readers to unsung WWII heroine Nancy Wake, who led a thousand French Resistance fighters, became a critical Allied asset, and eluded the Nazis so effectively that she inspired the nickname “The White Mouse.” Lawhon will discuss the book at virtual events hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 2 and Novel in Memphis on February 9.

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Of All Places

A Nashville journalist maps a Syrian-American restaurateur’s moving journey to Hendersonville

By turns heartbreaking and inspiring, Jordan Ritter Conn’s The Road from Raqqa recounts in vivid detail the triumphs and grim realities of a Syrian immigrant, Riyad Alkasem, struggling to make a new life in the U.S. while trying to maintain family bonds across the world. Conn will appear with Riyad Alkasem at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Elder Appeal

Frail and failing, retired detective Buck Schatz defends lethal punishment for a serial killer he put away

When last we checked on author Daniel Friedman’s character Buck Schatz, we were hoping the long-retired Memphis police detective would make it to his next decade — in spite of his medical issues, miserable outlook, and unwavering commitment to Lucky Strikes. Fortunately for fans of memorable mysteries, Friedman has delivered the third book in the series, which, given that Schatz is now nearly 90, is aptly titled Running Out of Road.

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