Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Lyda Phillips

Being There

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly on juggling motherhood and career

In It. Goes. So. Fast., NPR correspondent Mary Louise Kelly describes the challenges of being both a mother and a journalist, determined to do right by both roles. Kelly will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 20.

Read more

On Account of Sex

In The Woman’s Hour, Elaine Weiss dissects the battle for women’s right to vote

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Elaine Weiss’s The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote is a riveting history of the battle to secure voting rights for American women. 

Read more

Trumpeter Swan

A life bird

According to the notes in my old National Geographic bird guide, on November 8, 1980, I saw a trumpeter swan at the Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills, Illinois. A life bird. My mother had been in the hospital in downtown Chicago for nearly two months.

Read more


The gift of letting go

The challenge wasn’t just the spice drawer with the unopened 30-year-old jar of coriander and the multitude of little packets of red pepper delivered with more than a decade of pizzas. Not just the UCLA T-shirt I bought in 2007 on my son’s college tour. Not the second-best stew pot. No, when I got right down to the bone, it was the last tangible relics of my father I had trouble letting go.

Read more

American Crow to Great White Shark

The Southern Wildlife Watcher surveys the region’s creatures

Rob Simbeck takes a close look at 36 creatures in The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist, offering readers glimpses of the mundane and the miraculous. Simbeck will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 31 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

Read more

Dog in the Bottoms

A four-legged role model shows me how to live in the moment

Each time I regain consciousness, I look for Zo’s white tail. Usually, I spot it flicking back and forth — ahead of me, to the left, to the right, sometimes behind. If I don’t see that waving beacon, I call. Soon I hear, then see her racing toward me at full speed, 45 pounds of solid enthusiasm.

Read more