Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Not as Different as We Think

Elizabeth Passarella on being a “muddled mashup of everything”

Raised in a conservative corner of Memphis, Elizabeth Passarella now makes her home in New York City, and Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York tells her story: of moving to the city, getting married, becoming a Democrat, and raising a family, all while maintaining her unquenchable Christian faith.

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Nobody Untended

Humor and peril collide in The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus

The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus corrals nine ambitious, verbally rich narrative worlds. Through humor or gut-punching drama, these stories showcase Gurganus’ penchant for lifting the veneer of small-town niceties, exposing the vast terrain of his characters’ interior lives.

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A Wayfaring Experiment in Democracy

Kim Trevathan revisits the Tennessee River from a new direction

In Against the Current: Paddling Upstream on the Tennessee River, Maryville College professor and nature writer Kim Trevathan travels the length of the waterway a second time to discover “how the river had changed in twenty years, and how the passing of two decades had changed me.” Trevathan will discuss Against the Current at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on February 25.

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A Long, Strange Trip

My Year Abroad traces an ordinary young man’s journey to a weird hell and back

My Year Abroad, Chang-rae Lee’s sixth novel, is an exuberant — and strange — coming-of-age tale. Lee will discuss the book with Ann Patchett at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 19.

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Power in the Word

Southern Word connects young people to their voices, each other

Students and recent alumni of Southern Word have published books, produced music, given TEDx Talks, been featured on national broadcasts and in newspapers like The New York Times, and even received invitations from Michelle Obama to visit the White House for a student poetry celebration. Southern Word will host the annual BlackLift Poetry House, held online February 20.

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You’re Gonna Talk about This Chicken

Book Excerpt: Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story

Rachel Louise Martin’s Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story recounts the story of hot chicken and what the dish’s growing popularity reveals about race relations in a changing city. Hot, Hot Chicken will be published by Vanderbilt University Press in March 2021.

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