Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Margaret Renkl

The Insensible Power of Nature

Tornadoes and hurricanes inspire physicist Alan Lightman to consider our connection to the natural world

April 2, 2014 Alan Lightman is the highly acclaimed author of plays, poems, novels, and essays—and he’s working on a memoir about his Memphis childhood—so it is not surprising that the recent run of calamitous weather would inspire him to write a literary meditation on the relationship between human beings and the natural world.

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A Bold Second Outing

Amy Greene’s second novel, Long Man, is getting serious reviews

March 31, 2014 When Amy Greene saw the cover design for Long Man, her new novel, her first thought was “My publisher takes me seriously as a writer.” And it’s true: this novel, unlike Bloodroot Greene’s critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling first novel, is not illustrated with a delicate watercolor image of a beautiful woman in a romantic dress. It’s illustrated with bold lines, block colors, imposing type—a designer’s signifier of literary heft and consequence.

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Identity Issues

The new YA novel by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper earns praise from The New York Times

March 14, 2014 Changers, the first in a fantasy series of YA novels by East Tennessee husband-and-wife team T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper, is singled out by the literary paper of record for its unusual appeal to teens struggling with identity issues—as what teen is not?

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Something New Inside

In divorce, Tova Mirvis discovers an unexpected sense of promise

February 20, 2014 Novelist Tova Mirvis grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Memphis. As expected, she became engaged at twenty-two to an Orthodox Jewish man she met on a blind date. As expected, she followed the laws and expectations of her community, even as she wondered, “Is this all true?”

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From Libya to the Academy of American Poets—By Way of Tennessee

Khaled Mattawa has been named co-chancellor of the nation’s largest nonprofit poetry organization

January 17, 2014 Poet and translator Khlaled Mattawa left Libya when when he was fourteen, the year after Muammar Gaddafi’s forces began hanging “traitors” in the public square of Benghazi, Mattawa’s home city. Mattawa settled in Chattanooga, where he later graduated from UTC before going on to study creative writing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In the years since, his commitment to both his homeland and to poetry has not waned.

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Like Taking a Writer’s Yearbook Picture

Dwight Garner talks with Chapter 16 about being one of the last full-time book critics in the country

January 13, 2014 It’s not easy to find a silver lining in the decline of local literary coverage across the country, but if there must be only a handful of full-time book critics working today, it’s good news, at least, that one of them is Dwight Garner, who writes for the daily New York Times. Prior to his appearance at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on January 16, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Buttrick Hall, Room 101, Garner answered questions from Chapter 16. The event is free and open to the public.

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