Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

William Gay

Starring Gary Cooper

In a story discovered after his death, William Gay tells the tale of a good-hearted drifter who finds an unlikely landing place at the drive-in

February 22, 2013 Novelist William Gay died suddenly on February 23, 2012, but he left behind a body of work that will surely long outlive all of us who loved him and loved the work he did, in near isolation, from his home in Hohenwald, Tennessee. “William Gay was born a writer,” Chapter 16’s Serenity Gerbman wrote at the time. “As a late-life literary success who didn’t attend creative-writing programs or pay for professional workshops, Gay symbolized the hopes of struggling writers, especially rural ones. He was good, and he found a way to let the world know he was good—those are facts we cling to as evidence of what is possible. Throughout history, people have made long pilgrimages to witness lesser miracles.” To commemorate the anniversary of Gay’s death, Chapter 16 is proud to publish a new story that Gay’s family found among his papers. The story was discovered in manuscript form and is faithfully reproduced here without significant editing.

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Book Excerpt: The Lost Country

In Memphis, Tennessee, in April 1952, and the characters in this forthcoming novel by William Gay are stunned by brightness of the sun

February 29, 2012 The court had awarded her custody of the motorcycle, they were going this day to get it. Edgewater was sitting on the curb drinking orange juice from a cardboard carton when the white Ford convertible came around the corner. A Crown Victoria with the top down though the day was cool and Edgewater had been sitting in the sun for such heat as there was. The car was towing what he judged to be a horse trailer.

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