Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Forging an Autonomous Path

Music critic Ann Powers shows us how Joni Mitchell made her own way

Ann Powers’ Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell weaves research, reportage, and analysis to tell the iconic singer-songwriter’s story in a conversational way. Powers will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on June 12.

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River Gods

Boyce Upholt explores the long history of the Mississippi River

In The Great River, Boyce Upholt chronicles the long history of how the U.S. government has sought to control and shape the Mississippi River, exploring its social and environmental impacts. Upholt will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on June 25.

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All The Mistakes Families Make

Small-town lovers grapple with an unexpected pregnancy in Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s Holding on to Nothing

In her 2019 debut novel, Holding on to Nothing, Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne creates a fresh, moving story of young lovers in a small East Tennessee town and the myriad forces that trouble them as they set out to make a family. The book has just been released in a new paperback edition

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This World of Broken Sins

A small-town deputy comes to terms with his past as he tries to save an innocent man

In Henry Wise’s debut novel Holy City, a tormented police officer investigates a murder that digs up secrets the county would rather keep buried. Wise will appear at Novel in Memphis on June 2.

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Loving Country

Willie, Waylon, and the Boys tells the stories of Nashville’s quintessential outsiders

The music scene in Nashville is tricky and hard to describe until you figure out how obsessed the city is with the relationship between conformity and rebellion. Brian Fairbanks provides plenty of detail about the full-cylinder lives of country music iconoclasts Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings in Willie, Waylon, and the Boys: How Nashville Outsiders Changed Country Music Forever.

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Fletch Inhaled Twice

Reflecting on the influence of I.M. Fletcher and his creator, Gregory Mcdonald

Gregory Mcdonald’s 1974 novel Fletch created the modern comic mystery, influencing a generation of writers who followed. In addition to nine Fletch books, Mcdonald created such series characters as Flynn, Skylar, and Son of Fletch, writing many of those from his home near Pulaski, Tennessee.

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