Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

Fresh Soil in Old Territory

Ron Rash’s In the Valley displays his masterful command of short fiction  

From haunting, short-form meditations on loss to a thrilling, suspenseful novella that revives an indelible antihero, In the Valley offers a distillation of Ron Rash’s storytelling mastery at its best. Rash will discuss In the Valley at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on August 18 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online Oct. 1-11.

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I Would Have Said It Was Mystical

In Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Wanting Radiance, a daughter searches for her own buried origins

Fortune telling — through tarot cards, palm readings, or other means of divination — was a way of life for Miracelle and her mother, whose bond forms the heart of Karen Salyer McElmurray’s novel, Wanting Radiance. After years on her own, Miracelle sets her sights on the past, including her mother’s unsolved murder.

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Small Mercies

Shuly Xóchitl Cawood mines the nuances of daily life in A Small Thing to Want

By delving into intimate moments of her characters’ lives, Johnson City writer Shuly Xóchitl Cawood taps a deep well of compassion in her story collection, A Small Thing to Want.

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Child of the Green Routine

Alia Volz pays tribute to her mother’s enterprising marijuana brownie business in Home Baked

In Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco, Alia Volz crafts a loving portrait of Sticky Fingers Brownies, the empire of pot-laced edibles that her mother built amid the tumultuous events that rocked San Francisco during 1970s and 80s.

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The Paradise, The Grave, The City, The Wilderness

The characters of Katy Simpson Smith’s The Everlasting span the long, winding history of Rome

Readers who love history for its grand, sweeping scale will find the premise of Katy Simpson Smith’s novel, The Everlasting, irresistible: a quartet of characters whose stories span almost 2,000 years and whose experiences delve into the chaotic, multilayered, enduring heart of Rome. 

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The Ground Is Swollen With Your Name

Trauma runs throughout Tiana Clark’s I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood

The poems in Tiana Clark’s debut collection, I Can’t Talk About The Trees Without The Blood, propel us into encounters with traumas ancient and immediate, blurring any distinctions of time. 

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