Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Faye Jones

Road Trip with Grandma

In her new novel, Memphis native Dana Sachs explores the quirks of memory

June 24, 2013 Anna Rosenthal is a thirty-five-year-old widow who can’t seem to move on with her life. Enter her estranged grandmother, Goldie, who demands that Anna drive her across country to return a set of Japanese prints that have been in her possession since World War II. The resulting journey could take the form of either farce or tragedy, but Dana Sachs makes The Secret of the Nightingale Palace a much more nuanced look at love, loss, and the secrets every life holds.

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Secret Pain and Passion

Jennie Fields talks about novelist Edith Wharton’s turbulent life

May 29, 2013 Edith Wharton’s novels captured the depths and complexities of the human soul, but her readers in the early twentieth century could not have known that Wharton’s own life held its share of emotional drama. In The Age of Desire, Nashville novelist Jennie Fields tells the story of Edith Wharton’s passionate but ultimately doomed love affair with journalist Morton Fullerton. Prior to her reading at Parnassus Books in Nashville at 6:30 p.m. on June 3, Fields answered questions about the novel from Chapter 16.

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Renaissance Intrigue

Alana White’s passion for Renaissance Italy results in a fascinating historical mystery

January 10, 2013 In Alana White’s debut novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, Guid’Antonio Vespucci and his nephew Amerigo return from a two-year diplomatic mission to Paris only to find their native Florence in disarray. A young woman has been kidnapped, supposedly by the infidel Turks, and a painting of the Virgin Mary is weeping in the Vespucci home church. In fifteenth-century Italy, these events are equally disturbing. Many in Florence believe the Virgin is weeping over Lorenzo Medici’s long argument with Pope Sixtus IV. Rebellion and mutiny are in the air.

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Love and Death in Venice

Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily looks to the past to solve a mystery in nineteenth-century Italy

October 22, 2012 When Lady Emily Hargreaves heads to Italy, it’s a fair bet that she isn’t on vacation. In fact, Emily—the heroine of Death in the Floating City, Tasha Alexander’s seventh Victorian mystery—arrives in Venice to solve a murder. To find the killer, she must investigate not only those around her but also the lives of star-crossed lovers who lived centuries before. Fans of Alexander, a former Franklin resident, know Emily will manage it all with charm, intelligence, and ladylike decorum. Tasha Alexander will discuss Death in the Floating City at Parnassus Books on October 24 at 6:30 p.m.

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Defining a Life Through Books

Journalist Frye Gaillard pays tribute to the books that have shaped his life

August 29, 2012 Perhaps all avid readers mark their lives by the books they’ve read and by the way those books have influenced them. Frye Gaillard certainly does, and as a journalist he also has a strong sense of how books show us pictures of the world at a certain time and place. More than just a memoir, The Books That Mattered is a fascinating blend of personal, cultural, and literary history. Gaillard takes readers to a segregated courtroom in Alabama, a prison in Argentina, the dust bowl of Oklahoma, and a small attic hideout in Europe. As disparate as those books and places are, they all live on in Gaillard, who will appear at the twenty-fourth annual Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

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The Passion of Edith Wharton

Novelist Jennie Fields imagines the story behind a troubled period in the life of Edith Wharton

August 20, 2012 If your picture of Edwardian novelist Edith Wharton tends to feature veiled conversations in drawing rooms, you may well be shocked at the passionate and vulnerable woman who comes to life in The Age of Desire by Nashvillian Jennie Fields. This novel is set during the year when the married Wharton embarked on an affair with a younger man. Fields will read from The Age of Desire on August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Parnassus Books in Nashville, on September 20 at 6:15 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library as part of the Salon@615 series, and at the Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

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