Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Leaving

What does it mean to go where you don’t belong?

We’re driving up to Marquette, a college town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the beginning of my freshman year, something no other Vargo has ever done in the history of the Vargos. As we drive, I grow more ashamed with each passing mile marker. My father is old and we are poor and I am 18, trying to reinvent myself in a place I’ve never known.

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American Crow to Great White Shark

The Southern Wildlife Watcher surveys the region’s creatures

Rob Simbeck takes a close look at 36 creatures in The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist, offering readers glimpses of the mundane and the miraculous. Simbeck will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 31 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Seeing Other Possibilities

Julia Alvarez talks with Chapter 16 about sisterhood, global community, and living by metaphor

Award-winning author Julia Alvarez helped pave the way for other Latina writers in the U.S. with her 1991 debut novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Alvarez talks with Chapter 16 about her latest novel, Afterlife, and what it means to envision new possibilities in this troubled time. She will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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More than a Dream

Jon Meacham delivers a rich account of a life built on protest and hope

In His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham, a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt, has written a moving, rigorously researched account of the late congressman’s life, with an afterword written by Lewis himself. Meacham will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 25.

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Throwing Scissors

When safety feels like suffocation

Maybe, like my mother, I am not as afraid of fear as I thought. Because, right now, every part of me wants a storm I can stand before.

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Queen’s Rules

Late R&B legend Denise LaSalle always called her own shots

Always the Queen: The Denise LaSalle Story offers a candid account of the life of the late R&B icon. This posthumous memoir, written with blues historian David Whiteis, also serves as an entertaining and boldly rendered look into the history of the musical genre LaSalle loved.

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