Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Anne Delana Reeves


In a beautiful new memoir, Rosanne Cash tells her own story

December 30, 2010 Composed, the new memoir by Rosanne Cash, could just as easily be titled A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Whether James Joyce’s novel served as a template (one of Cash’s favorite words) for it, Composed invites comparisons to Joyce’s coming-of-age masterpiece. Written with grace, generosity, and restraint, the memoir chronicles Cash’s struggle to come to terms with her famous musical pedigree while simultaneously creating an enduring artistic legacy of her own, separate but still threaded to the past. The book appears on Publisher’s Weekly‘s list for Best Nonfiction of 2010.

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Family Pride

Condoleezza Rice owes it all—her determination, her success, her quiet dignity—to her parents

November 2, 2010 John and Angelina Rice groomed their only child for an exceptional life. Condoleezza Rice’s new memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, lovingly dedicated to her parents and her grandparents, is the former secretary of state’s testament to their strong values, “hard work, perfectly spoken English,” and, most importantly, their unrelenting focus on education. Her college-educated parents, Rice asserts, “were convinced that education was a kind of armor shielding me against everything—even the deep racism in Birmingham and across America.” Rice will discussExtraordinary, Ordinary People at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on November 3 at 6 p.m.

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Into the Woods

Sometimes even Janis Joplin isn’t enough of an escape

August 6, 2010 It was 1972, and my parents had exiled the family to a farm south of Nashville; the nearest town featured a Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken restaurant, a dime store, and a dully-lit library in the courthouse basement. What else was a fifteen-year-old girl to do but hide out in her bedroom and scream along to Janis Joplin records, or recite, in dramatic hand-over-heart fashion, T.S. Eliot’s poetry, the perfumed smoke from strawberry incense swirling in the air? Then Mrs. Caruthers sent me searching for wildflowers.

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Giving It Her Best Shot

Rocker Pat Benatar writes a memoir

July 8, 2010 Pat Benatar ruled the radio airwaves during the 1980s, and for good reason. Her talent for writing and choosing clever, anthemic, and arena-ready songs earned her four Grammy Awards, produced nineteen top-forty singles, and sold more than 22 million records worldwide. Now she’s written a memoir, Between A Heart And A Rock Place, which she’ll discuss at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on July 9 at 12:30 p.m.

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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Sometimes a drama queen is worse than the storm

May 7, 2010 Thirteen miles from my exit, the bottom fell out of the sky. The road seemed to disappear; drainage pipes spewed like muddy geysers. My sister called my cell phone in a panic, unable to reach our mother. “What about her cell phone?” I asked. “She’s forgotten how to use it,” she snapped. “I’m heading over.”

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Secrets in a Nun's Cell

In Sacred Hearts, Sarah Dunant captures the mystery—and the passion—in a Renaissance convent

April 16, 2010 A page-turner about a Benedictine order of Renaissance nuns may seem like a far-fetched concept, but Sacred Hearts, Sarah Dunant's latest novel, achieves the remarkable. Ecstasy, jealousy, betrayal, revenge, adolescent rebellion, and romance swirl like trails of incense behind the impenetrable walls of the Italian convent, Santa Caterina. Dunant will discuss the book at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on April 20 at 7 p.m.

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