Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sarah Norris

Coal Country Maelstrom

To the Bones sets a satisfying thriller in small-town Appalachia

In To the Bones by Southern author Valerie Nieman, the dystopian horror is a chilling reminder of what can arise from the vast distances between human beings, as well as the vast mysteries within an individual.  

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“Give Me My Daily Wickedness”

Celebrated novelist Gish Jen talks with Chapter 16 about truth-telling and the project of fiction

A prolific writer known for exploring multiculturalism with keen intelligence, grace, and humor, Gish Jen is the author of four novels, a short-story volume, and, most recently, a nonfiction book created from the talks she gave at Harvard University in 2012 as part of the William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization.

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The Art of Attention

A new essay collection from the University of Tennessee honors Jeff Daniel Marion, beloved Appalachian poet and teacher

April 28, 2016 Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston celebrates the life and work of Appalachian poet Jeff Daniel Marion. Edited by Jesse Graves, Thomas Alan Holmes, and Ernest Lee, the anthology contains seventeen essays—including an autobiographical essay by Marion himself—an interview with the poet, and a detailed timeline of his life.

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Turning Prayer Into Action

Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir tells the story of her work, with the Christian rock band Jars of Clay, to bring clean water and blood to tens of thousands of Africans affected by HIV

August 18, 2015 Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir, One Thousand Wells, tells the story of how she—along with members of the Christian rock band Jars of Clay—founded Blood:Water, a nonprofit organization that advocates for AIDS clinics and clean water in African communities. On August 24, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. Nardella will appear at the Nashville Public Library in conversation with Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay. She will also appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville, on August 26, 2015, at 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

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Buried Secrets

In Heroes Are My Weakness, the latest novel by bestselling romance author Susan Phillips, a woman revisits her haunted past in a search for her future

July 17, 2015 Susan Elizabeth Miller’s 2014 novel, newly published in paperback, reads like a Jane Austen novel crossed with a Led Zeppelin song. A prolific, bestselling novelist, Phillips will discuss Heroes Are My Weakness at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on July 29, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

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The Heart of the Matter

What Remains, the second YA novel by Helene Dunbar, is a tale of tragedy and revelation

May 6, 2015 What Remains, the new novel by Nashville YA author Helene Dunbar, is the story of a teenager who’s had the same best friends since first grade. When a tragic car accident upends his life, he is forced to reckon with his grief, guilt, and a new existence he’s not convinced he even wants. Dunbar will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 11, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

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