Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Hamilton Cain

A Multitude of Elegies

Ayad Akhtar creates a powerful literary assemblage in Homeland Elegies

Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies is a dazzling, genre-busting book, a work of autofiction with the potential to shock us out of our complacency. Akhtar will discuss the book at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Places Previously Unseen

Michael Ray Taylor talks about the wonders and wisdom found deep underground

Michael Ray Taylor’s Hidden Nature probes the daunting and delicate ecosystems of caves and the passion that drives those who seek a larger connection with the world. Taylor will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on August 16 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Migrants Through Time

Mohsin Hamid talks with Chapter 16 about his acclaimed literary bestseller, Exit West

Mohsin Hamid’s work conveys a deep moral questioning and a valiant effort to make sense of a world turned upside down. In this 2018 interview, Hamid answers questions from Chapter 16 about his literary influences and his fourth novel, Exit West.

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An Anguished Quest

Jessica Pearce Rotondi explores her family’s grief in What We Inherit

The journalist Jessica Pearce Rotondi was 8 years old before she heard her mother speak the name of her uncle, Jack Pearce, who vanished when his plane was shot down over Laos in March 1972. In her propulsive memoir, What We Inherit, Rotondi probes her family’s agonized search for truth across three generations.

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Attitude with a Dash of Tenderness

Samantha Irby takes on middle age and mix tapes in Wow, No Thank You

Samantha Irby’s new collection of essays, Wow, No Thank You, is a spicy cocktail that will intoxicate readers — a few fingers of Dorothy Parker and a splash of comedian Wanda Sykes, as bracing and delicious as a Cosmopolitan.

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The Complex Odyssey of a Life

Randal O’Wain’s Meander Belt recalls a blue-collar youth

In Meander Belt, M. Randal O’Wain crafts an impressionistic self-portrait of a young man determined to escape the buzz saw of poverty and a family forever on the edge of disaster. O’Wain will discuss Meander Belt at Novel in Memphis on November 29 and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on February 14.

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