Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Arcs of Hope and Tragedy

Frye Gaillard delivers a sprawling, panoramic history of the 1960s

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Frye Gaillard’s A Hard Rain pulls the reader into the 1960s, not just to witness its momentous events, but to feel its idealism and disenchantment. First published in 2018, A Hard Rain has recently been released in paperback and as an audiobook.

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The Uncanny Valley

Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You alternates between the #MeToo present and a 1990s mystery

In Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You, a popular LA podcaster returns to her New England boarding school to investigate a murder that still haunts the campus. Makkai will discuss her work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on April 18.

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Into the Unknown with Captain Cook

Hampton Sides examines the final voyage of one of the great explorers

In The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook, Hampton Sides brings to life all the excitement, drudgery, politics, and cultural complications of one of the greatest, and most tragic, voyages of discovery. Sides will discuss the book in events at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 17 and at Novel in Memphis on April 18.

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Memphis Mourning

Sara Koffi’s fast-paced debut thriller packs commentary on racism, police brutality, and inequality

In her website bio, Memphis novelist Sara Koffi describes herself as a writer who likes to “humanize Black women by giving them space on the page” and “explore the nuances of ‘unlikeable female characters.’” She does both in her widely anticipated debut While We Were Burning, a thriller whose plot hinges on the killing of a Black teen. Sara Koffi will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on April 16.

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Making Country, Country

Alice Randall’s My Black Country embraces and explores Black eccentricity in country music

In My Black Country, Alice Randall outlines the inclination of Music Row institutions to discount Black writers and their insistence on erasure of Black artists, particularly women, in the genre. Randall will appear in Nashville at Parnassus Books on April 12 and at City Winery, as part of “An Evening with Black Opry,” on April 25. 

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“On the Sidewalk of Troy, TN, 1904”

Book Excerpt: Vantablack

Ciona Rouse is a poet, editor, and educator based in Nashville. The author of the chapbook Vantablack (Third Man Books, 2017), her poetry also appears in Oxford American, Poem-a-DayNPR MusicThe SlowdownBooth, and other publications. Ciona Rouse will host a “A Celebration of Tennessee Poets for National Poetry Month,” part of the TN Writers | TN Stories series, at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville on April 13.

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