Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sara Beth West

The Miracle of Movement

A young dancer grapples with identity in The Archer

In Shruti Swamy’s novel The Archer, a young dancer named Vidya explores her identity as an artist and as a woman. She both conforms to and defies the traditional expectations of her gender and class, all while grappling with the desires of her body and mind and the raw ache of abandonment after the loss of her mother. Swamy will appear at a virtual session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

Read more

Winner’s Dilemma

Jamie Pacton’s Lucky Girl imagines the downside of good fortune

For every lottery ticket ever purchased, there is a universal wonder: What would I do if I won all that money? Blow it all on luxury items or save it? Change my life or change the lives of those around me? In East Tennessee native Jamie Pacton’s second YA novel, Lucky Girl, a winning ticket stirs up more trouble than it may be worth.

Read more

Seeing Yourself in the Story

Heather Truett on her debut novel and bringing more neurodivergent voices to publishing

Heather Truett’s debut YA novel, Kiss and Repeat, brings to life the author’s commitment to more neurodivergent voices in publishing. Currently an M.F.A. candidate in creative writing at the University of Memphis, Truett is launching her career with a charming, relatable story centered around Stephen, a teen with Tourette’s syndrome who discovers that his tics disappear when he is kissing someone. Truett will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on May 25.

Read more


Teens grapple with secret guilt in Stewart Lewis’ YA thriller

Stewart Lewis’ young adult thriller One Stupid Thing is one part I Know What You Did Last Summer and one part Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. His teen protagonists struggle with life and relationships as they try to solve a mystery and exonerate themselves for a prank gone horribly wrong.

Read more

Not as Different as We Think

Elizabeth Passarella on being a “muddled mashup of everything”

Raised in a conservative corner of Memphis, Elizabeth Passarella now makes her home in New York City, and Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York tells her story: of moving to the city, getting married, becoming a Democrat, and raising a family, all while maintaining her unquenchable Christian faith.

Read more

On the Ice

The Arctic Fury imagines adventure and tragedy for a group of 19th-century women

Greer Macallister’s historical novel The Arctic Fury focuses on an extraordinary woman tasked with an extraordinary mission: to lead a team of women into the Arctic to recover any evidence of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin and his crew. Greer Macallister will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on January 28.

Read more