Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“There’s No Way to Know Which Dragonfly is My Brother”

A 14-year-old makes a difficult journey of self-discovery

Award-winning author Kacen Callender returns to middle-grade fiction with King and the Dragonflies. King is convinced that his much-loved older brother, Khalid, became a dragonfly after he died suddenly. King has to struggle through his own and his family’s grief while grappling with the nature of friendship and his questions about his sexuality. Callender will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Battered by the Bomb

Within a love triangle, broken characters seek healing from the wounds of war

The war is over, but deep and debilitating scars remain in Jennie Fields’ novel, Atomic Love, set in 1950s Chicago. When an FBI agent asks a former Manhattan Project nuclear physicist to investigate her former lover, who is accused of treason, her quiet life is turned upside down. Jennie Fields will discuss Atomic Love at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 18.

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Radical Joy

In Alice Randall’s Black Bottom Saints, a dying man eulogizes the “Black Camelot” of mid-20th-century Detroit 

In Alice Randall’s fifth novel, Black Bottom Saints, a terminally ill columnist, club impresario, and dance school founder dictates tender hagiographies of the Black creatives who built and nurtured a thriving community in mid-20th-century Detroit. Randall will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Fisk University on August 18 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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What the F?

A civil war, a brush with death, and a really good tan

The brain is a funny thing. Well, my brain is. Hilarious, really. In my fear, my neurons forgot the commands for putting on flip-flops, but they could formulate the thought: I hope the newspaper will mention the lovely golden hue of my cadaver.

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Fresh Soil in Old Territory

Ron Rash’s In the Valley displays his masterful command of short fiction  

From haunting, short-form meditations on loss to a thrilling, suspenseful novella that revives an indelible antihero, In the Valley offers a distillation of Ron Rash’s storytelling mastery at its best. Rash will discuss In the Valley at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on August 18 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online Oct. 1-11.

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Places Previously Unseen

Michael Ray Taylor talks about the wonders and wisdom found deep underground

Michael Ray Taylor’s Hidden Nature probes the daunting and delicate ecosystems of caves and the passion that drives those who seek a larger connection with the world. Taylor will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on August 16 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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