Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sarah Norris

Weight Lost and Love Found

Alice Randall’s novel romantic comedy tells the story of a Nashville woman’s renewed appetite for life

March 30, 2012 When Ada Howard opens an invitation to her twenty-fifth college reunion, a year away, she is moved to step on a scale for the first time in as long as she can remember. Shocked to find that she’s ballooned to 220 pounds and inspired by the prospect of bumping into her former boyfriend, the five-foot-two-inch Ada sets out on a quest to shed a hundred pounds in twelve months. She starts by writing a list of fifty-three rules. Number one on the list: “Don’t keep doing what you’ve always been doing.” Alice Randall will read from and discuss Ada’s Rules at two Nashville events: Parnassus Books on May 8 at 6:30 p.m. and at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt on May 19 at 2 p.m.

Read more

The Passionate Storyteller

With a second-person point of view and an eye for the absurd, Mark Richard has crafted an affecting memoir of redemption and grace

March 23, 2012 Mark Richard was born with a disability, and both his physical challenges and the assumptions they inspired in others informed his sensibilities, set the stage for his brilliant memoir, House of Prayer No. 2, and ultimately explains why he is now one of the South’s finest writers. Mark Richard will appear at Lipscomb University in Nashville on March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ezell Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. Click here for event details.

Read more

Family Drama and Unfinished Romance

Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, talks with Chapter 16 about her new book, The Lake of Dreams

January 25, 2012 Kim Edwards’s debut novel, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, sold more than four million copies in the United States alone and spent 122 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Edwards answered questions from Chapter 16 prior to her appearance at “Literacy is Key: A Book & Author Affair” on January 26 at 10 a.m. at the University of Memphis. The program will also feature remarks by Lisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie, and Ace Atkins, author of The Ranger, and proceeds will support both Literacy Mid-South and Reading is Fundamental. For information and tickets, please click here.

Read more

Finding a Place in the Light

Novelist Marianne Wiggins talks with Chapter 16 about her Oak Ridge novel—and how the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was part of its genesis

January 20, 2012 Marianne Wiggins spent five years researching Evidence of Things Unseen. Set in East Tennessee, the novel is an epic love story, a mystery, a passionate argument against technological advances made at the cost of human lives—and the reason the Friends of Knox County Public Library will host an Evening with Marianne Wiggins on January 24. Wiggins will give a free public talk at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville in a celebration of the joint 125th anniversary of the Knox County Public Library and the Knoxville News Sentinel. In an interview prior to the event, she talked about history, causality, and how the time she spent in hiding with her then-husband Salman Rushdie in the 1980s influenced her book about East Tennessee between the world wars.

Read more

In Praise of Making Things Up

The Night Circus might be set in the nineteenth century, but Erin Morgenstern is no one’s historical novelist

January 18, 2012 Despite being turned down by dozens of agents, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus went on to become a bestseller and was published in more than thirty countries. Summit Entertainment, the production company behind the Twilight series, bought film rights, as Morgenstern found herself the star of a real-life fairy tale. Erin Morgenstern will discuss and sign copies of The Night Circus on January 26 at 6:15 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library, as part of the Salon@615 series.

Read more


How a Chapter 16 writer’s great-grandmother befriended—and betrayed—J.D. Salinger

December 8, 2011 Who owns the story of a friendship? A Chapter 16 writer considers her great-grandmother’s decision to sell the letters J.D. Salinger had written during their twenty years of friendship—and the great, reclusive writer’s final letter in response.

Read more