Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sean Kinch

Captive Audience

The protagonist of Laura Lippman’s new thriller hasn’t moved as far beyond the past as she believes

October 6, 2010 Laura Lippman’s new crime novel, I’d Know You Anywhere, begins where most mysteries end. The killer has been caught and incarcerated; apparently, justice has been served. Twenty years after he raped and murdered a series of young women in suburban Washington, D.C., Walter Bowman sits on Death Row awaiting execution, his appeals finally exhausted. His last request is to make contact with the one girl he kidnapped but, unlike the unfortunate others, did not kill. Lippman will read from the novel at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on October 7 at 6 p.m.

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Feeding the Hope Machine

Salvatore Scibona, one of The New Yorker‘s new “20 Under 40” writers, talks with Chapter 16

September 23, 2010 In 2008, Salvatore Scibona’s first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award—a coup for its author and for its publisher, the tiny, nonprofit Gray Wolf Press. The NBA distinction helped propel sales of the novel, which has become a favorite of book clubs. Scibona’s burgeoning career received another boost in June, when The New Yorker named Scibona to its “20 Under 40” list of young writers who are bringing fresh voices to American fiction. Scibona will read from his work at 7 p.m. on September 23 in Buttrick Hall, Room 102, on the Vanderbilt University campus.

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Winesburg, Louisiana?

A splendid new story collection by M.O. Walsh takes its cue from Sherwood Anderson

September 13, 2010 In the hands of a less subtle writer, the premise of M.O. Walsh’s new collection of stories, The Prospect of Magic, could easily have resulted in hopeless kitsch. When the owner of The World Famous Ploofop Travelling Carnival dies suddenly, the carnies and circus acts find themselves stuck in Fluker, Louisiana, and forced to learn to live straight. What keeps these tales from devolving into material for a bad sitcom is the care with which Walsh details his characters’ inner turmoil. M.O. Walsh will read from his work at the Hodges Library on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on September 13 at 7 p.m.

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Inquisitive

Padgett Powell returns with a novel written entirely in questions

July 15, 2010 Padgett Powell is a genius of American letters, a brilliant but eccentric writer who looms on the margins of the mainstream. After his first novel, Edisto (1984), won critical praise and an enthusiastic readership, his writing drifted into “surreal lines,” as he describes it, eschewing conventional plot and sympathetic characters for experiments in voice and form. After nine years of silence, Powell has returned with The Interrogative Mood, and readers may once again enjoy his trippy world play and skewed world view. He will give a free public reading at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference on July 18 at 8:15 p.m.

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