Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

The Glorious Pastime: Indya Kincannon

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon loves biographies and My Brilliant Friend

Indya Kincannon arrived in Knoxville in 2001, a self-described “trailing spouse” who relocated for her husband’s job. Today she’s the city’s mayor, committed to “creating and spreading opportunity to all parts of Knoxville.” Mayor Kincannon, a longtime education advocate and former teacher, shares a bit of her reading life with Chapter 16 via our Glorious Pastime questionnaire.

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Another Way to Be

Michael Ian Black makes the case for a new masculinity in A Better Man

Michael Ian Black’s A Better Man is a tender, funny, hopeful book, conceived as a letter to his 18-year-old son. Through a mix of memoir, comic commentary, and fatherly advice, Black makes the case against the cultural pressures that harm men, from impossible ideals of strength and independence to damaging rhetoric about toxic masculinity. Black will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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The Glorious Pastime: Alan Gratz

Bestselling kids’ author Alan Gratz talks about his love of detective novels and a book that surprised him

Knoxville native Alan Gratz takes on tough subjects in his fiction for young readers, as in his 2019 novel, Allies, set during World War II. Resist, a companion novella to Allies, will be released as an ebook and audiobook in September. In response to our Glorious Pastime questionnaire, Gratz tells Chapter 16 what he’s been reading lately and recommends an underappreciated book series.  

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Deciphering Life

Jill McCorkle’s Hieroglyphics explores the intricate passages of memory, time, and love

“We are all haunted by something — something we did or didn’t do — and the passing years either add to the weight or diminish it.” Those are the words of Lil, the loving but wounded woman at the heart of Jill McCorkle’s new novel, Hieroglyphics. The tormenting power of memory, and conflicting desires to escape and interrogate the past, shape the lives of all the characters in this poignant, deeply human story. Jill McCorkle will discuss Hieroglyphics at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 10 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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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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