Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

Siren Song

Fantasy author Alex Bledsoe delves into Appalachian myth and music

July 8, 2013 Wisp of a Thing is Alex Bledsoe’s second fantasy novel about the Tufa, a secretive people bent on protecting the ancient mysteries of their Smoky Mountain community. When an outsider comes in search of a powerful Tufa song, the myths and histories hidden in Cloud County awaken, putting every Tufa tradition to the test. Bledsoe will read from Wisp of a Thing at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on July 13, 2013, at 2 p.m. and at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 14 at 2 p.m.

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Fugitive Truth

Oxford American editor Roger D. Hodge discusses his vision for the magazine’s future, the role editors play in storytelling, and the depth of his own ties to the South

January 23, 2013 The Oxford American’s new editor-in-chief, Roger D. Hodge, talks with Chapter 16 about his view of editing as a “conversational” process. The point of the conversation, he says, is to serve the stories themselves: “When everything comes together in just the right way, so that the stories are winking and glancing across the issue at one another, something magical happens. You have a self-contained whole, a world within the world.”

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Recognition for Cornwell’s Latest

Forensic crime novelist Patricia Cornwell celebrates the release of her newest Kay Scarpetta thriller

January 11, 2013 Patricia Cornwell has made the media rounds in recent months, celebrating the publication of The Bone Bed, the twentieth entry in her series of bestselling crime thrillers featuring Kay Scarpetta, a forensic pathologist. The Scarpetta novels, for which Cornwell has frequently done research at the Body Farm and National Forensic Academy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, sparked the forensic science subgenre of thrillers that now crowds television schedules with shows like C.S.I. Investigation.

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Chronicling Life and Death

Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three has received wide-ranging notice for Life After Death, his memoir about surviving eighteen years on death row

December 20, 2012 Another documentary about Damien Echols is set to open on Christmas Day: West of Memphis, which producer Peter Jackson has called “the most important film” he’s ever made. Meanwhile, Echols is still fighting for full exoneration, both for himself and for the other men convicted with him. This struggle for understanding is evident in the excruciating detail with which Echols writes about his time on death row. His emphasis on the torturous aspects of his experience (in both prison life and the poverty-wracked Southern childhood preceding it) is the aspect of the book that critics have most often highlighted in their reviews.

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Renovating the Fairy Tale

Mother-daughter duo Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams talk with Chapter 16 about fairy tales, writing across generational lines, and their new children’s novel, The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess

December 13, 2012 The New York Times bestselling author Alice Randall and her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, have joined forces to create the fairy-tale world of their first children’s novel, The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess. As a thirteen-year-old orphaned princess in hiding on fantastical Bee Isle, B.B. Bright faces a gamut of challenges: earning her godmommies’ good opinion, starting her own beeswax candle business, winning her way off the island by finding eight elusive princesses who hold the keys to her identity, and withstanding Bee Isle’s ultimate pass-fail: The Official Princess Test.

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A Prescription for Stillness

Silas House reminds writers of the crucial importance of focus

December 5, 2012 “Many of the aspiring writers I know talk about writing more than they actually write,” writes novelist and playwright Silas House in a new essay for The New York Times. House—who two years ago left Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, to teach at Berea College in Kentucky—argues that “too many writers today are afraid to be still.”

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