Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

Stories and Voices

Appalachian storytellers take center stage in Foxfire Story

Anyone with an interest in the Appalachian South is familiar with the Foxfire program, dedicated to documenting and preserving the traditional folkways of the region. Oral traditions have always been a major focus of the project, and Foxfire Story puts them center stage, bringing together a selection of tales, jokes, anecdotes, oral histories, songs, and sayings drawn from material collected over 50 years.

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The Glorious Pastime: Paul Vasterling

Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling on Lincoln in the Bardo and tsundoku

Paul Vasterling, artistic director of Nashville Ballet since 1998, has created more than 40 works, including the beloved Nashville’s Nutcracker. For the latest installment of “The Glorious Pastime,” he shares some thoughts with Chapter 16 about his first literary love and the genius of George Saunders.

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The Glorious Pastime: Chanelle Benz

Memphis writer Chanelle Benz shares her current reading list and the story that haunts her

A Q&A with Memphis writer Chanelle Benz launches a new feature at Chapter 16: “The Glorious Pastime,” an occasional series devoted to the reading lives of prominent Tennesseans. Benz, a novelist and short story writer, discusses her wide-ranging reading list and the book she hopes to read … someday. 

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Disappointed Idealist

Madison Smartt Bell discusses the life and work of novelist Robert Stone

In the preface to Child of Light, his biography of novelist Robert Stone, Madison Smartt Bell describes Stone as a man who “confronted the world with the bright, acidic irony of an extraordinarily perceptive, bitterly disappointed idealist.” It’s a vivid and precise summary of the complex artist who emerges in this comprehensive book. 

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Dangerous Stranger

Rita Sims Quillen delivers a thoughtful thriller

In Rita Sims Quillen’s Wayland, a mysterious stranger invades the lives of a family in Depression-era Appalachia. Quillen will discuss the novel at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on March 1.

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Means of Survival

Saeed Jones’ memoir delivers a portrait of the artist as a young gay black man

In his memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, award-winning poet Saeed Jones recalls his struggle to find a way to live fully in a world that did not readily provide a place for him. Jones will appear at the 2019 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 11-13.

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