Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Susannah Felts

Food Fighter

Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser brings a message of hope to Nashville

A decade ago, few Americans knew the disturbing truth behind the factory farms that supply them with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eric Schlosser‘s books have caused a wakening in consumers—and are slowly having a positive impact on the very system he exposed. In advance of his appearance at Belmont University on February 15, he recently discussed his work, and his recent film Food, Inc., in an interview with Chapter 16.

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Fanning the Fire

Essayist, scholar, and novelist Randall Kenan responds with passion to the legacy of James Baldwin

In an interview with Chapter 16, author Randall Kenan discusses his latest book, The Fire This Time—an essay collection in which he considers the contemporary African American experience with passion—and in a voice that’s all his own. On January 28, Kenan will discuss his work in Room 101 of Buttrick Hall on the Vanderbilt University campus.

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The Chains of Love

In her deeply original debut novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez looks at the interior lives of the enslaved women kept as mistresses by Southern planters

Wench, a story of enslaved concubines and their white male masters, is a surefooted and engrossing work of historical fiction. While debut novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez grounds her story in compelling nineteenth-century research, the book finds its center and momentum not in reams of facts but in one woman’s impossibly conflicted heart. Deeply interior and elegantly written, this novel reveals shades of emotional complexity in the slave-owner relationship, one often portrayed as a classic battle of good and evil, heroes and villains.

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Hold the Garlic

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s soul-sucking vampires have earned her a million fans

Before Americans were hooked on True Blood, before Twilight sank its teeth into millions of readers and moviegoers, Spring Hill’s Sherrilyn Kenyon was swiftly and quietly building her vampire-lit empire. “Kenyon’s writing is brisk, ironic and relentlessly imaginative,” notes The Boston Globe. “These are not your mother’s vampire novels.”

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Starting Over

Why Helen Hemphill gave up a successful career in business to write novels for children

Not very long ago, YA novelist Helen Hemphill was doing PR for the finance industry—about as far from the bright colors and characters of the children’s-book section as it’s possible to get. Then, after more than two decades in the business, Hemphill walked away. The gamble paid off: in the past four years alone, she has published three novels, and all of them have racked up accolades and starred reviews. Her second title, Runaround, has just been released in paperback.

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Fireworks, at Home and Elsewhere

In his new YA novel, Silas House explores post-Vietnam tensions and summertime self discovery

Today’s young readers, coming of age in a post-9/11 world, should be deeply familiar with a central question of our times: what does it mean to be patriotic, to love—and protect, or protest—one’s country? It’s one question, among others, that they’ll find tenderly explored in Silas House‘s first young-adult novel, Eli the Good.

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