Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

The Sublime and the Ridiculous

Frank Bascombe returns for a final road trip in Richard Ford’s Be Mine

Richard Ford’s latest Frank Bascombe novel, Be Mine, marks Frank’s fifth and purportedly final curtain call as whimsical Everyman, shrewdly dissecting the shifting landscape of American life and his uncertain place in it.

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A Vessel for the Story

Alice Faye Duncan’s books chronicle Black perseverance, past and present

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Two nonfiction books for children by Memphis writer Alice Faye Duncan illuminate “what it means to be free.” 

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Of Berries and Death

Book Excerpt: The Comfort of Crows

Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows is a literary devotional that moves through a year of beauty, joy, and grief in the teeming natural world of Renkl’s own backyard. The book includes 52 original color artworks by Billy Renkl and will be published by Spiegel & Grau in October 2023.

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No Laughing Matter?

Harrison Scott Key’s How to Stay Married is a tragicomic memoir of marital crisis

Harrison Scott Key’s new memoir, How to Stay Married, relates his wife’s infidelity, his own loss of faith, and the implosion of his marriage followed by its unlikely resurrection. It’s a hoot. Really.

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As Much Belowground as Above

A writer returns to the Smoky Mountains and The Overstory

The Overstory,” writes Emily Choate, “is like the Smokies — a lush host to manifold inhabitants, some knowable to the casual visitor and others elusive, inscrutable.” Choate will lead a virtual discussion of Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on July 18.

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