Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Susannah Felts

A Great Southern Voice

Rick Bragg returns with a collection of his short works

The name Rick Bragg is a kind of fixture of the South, likely familiar even to those who’ve never read a word of his prose. If that’s the case for you, a new collection of his short works, Where I Come From, is as good a place to start as any.

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The Past Rising Up

Randall Kenan’s If I Had Two Wings returns to Tims Creek

In Randall Kenan’s new story collection, If I Had Two Wings, the residents of Tims Creek, North Carolina, often find themselves in bewildering circumstances, caught up in twists of fate that demand an unrehearsed response. 

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A Sexy, Impressionistic Feast

Leesa Cross-Smith’s story collection makes a joyful statement

Leesa Cross-Smith’s new book of short fiction, So We Can Glow, feels like a radical act of joy. On the whole, the collection is a sexy, impressionistic feast of feminine energy and agency.

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Teaching and Unteaching—and Entertaining All the Way

For more than three decades, Patricia McKissack has been writing children’s books that bring to life the stories, and the truth, of her ancestors

As she was coming of age in Nashville in the 1950s, there were many places award-winning children’s author Patricia McKissack was not allowed to go. She remembers hotels and restaurants that forbade African Americans entry, and movie theaters with a separate doorway in the alley for black patrons. The farthest reaches of the Grand Ole Opry’s balcony, known as the buzzard’s roost, was the only seating open to African Americans, McKissack recalls. She never partook: “My grandfather said that watermelons would bloom in January if any of his children went down there. ‘We don’t sit in no buzzard’s roost,’ he said. ‘We’re human beings, not buzzards.'”

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Intimate Strangers

A new essay collection edited by Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith explores the mother-child relationship

Mothers and Strangers, edited by Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith, features explorations of what Serageldin calls the “most intimate of strangers, the women who raised us.” Serageldin and Smith will discuss the essay collection at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 12. Smith will also appear with Jill McCorkle, Marshall Chapman, and Matraca Berg in a performance of Good Ol’ Girls at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville on April 11.

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