Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sarah Norris

Pushing Boundaries

In her latest novel, Sapphire revisits Precious and her family’s cycle of violence

July 3, 2012 Sapphire’s first novel, Push (on which the Oscar-winning film Precious was based), centers on an abused African-American teenager’s second pregnancy with her own father’s child. Sapphire’s second novel, The Kid, is about that kid: her second child. Sapphire will read from the book, newly released in paperback, at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 10 at 6:30 p.m. She answered questions from Chapter 16 prior to the event.

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Spy Games

In Joseph Kanon’s crime noir set in Istanbul during the Cold War, an American businessman must escape from a labyrinth of deadly lies

June 6, 2012 Istanbul, with its striking beauty and complicated history as the meeting point between two continents, has long served as an excellent backdrop for mysteries. During World War II, because of its location and neutral stance, the city gained notoriety as a nexus of espionage. Joseph Kanon’s newest noir thriller, Istanbul Passage, is a fast-paced, dialogue-driven whodunit that taps into this history with a story that’s rife with action, drama, and a splash of romance. Kanon will discuss Istanbul Passage at Parnassus Books in Nashville on June 11 at 6:30 p.m., and at The Booksellers at Laurelwood on June 12 at 6 p.m.

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Are You My Father?

In her new novel, Sybil Baker explores the bonds of family and the nature of belonging

May 21, 2012 Into This World, the new novel by Chattanooga author Sybil Baker, is rife with characters whose lives have not unfolded according to plan. Baker’s enthralling story follows a family caught in a web of secrets that must come unraveled before everyone involved can make the changes necessary to move forward. Sybil Baker will read from Into This World on May 23 at Winder Binder Gallery and Bookstore in Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Wine and light refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

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Native Tracks

Red Weather, Janet McAdams’s elegiac novel, follows a woman’s search for her missing parents

May 3, 2012 Red Weather, the debut novel by poet Janet McAdams, tracks the story of Neva, a young mixed-race woman who’s searching for her parents. Lyrical and vivid, the mystery unfolds in Central America, in the capital of the small, fictional Coatepeque. There, mounting violence against the country’s indigenous people provides a menacing backdrop to Neva’s crisis of identity, mirroring her lifelong sense of uncertain belonging. Janet McAdams will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 13 at 2 p.m.

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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.

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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.

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