Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

Sweet Evil and Blue Ruckus

In David Wesley Williams’s debut novel, three generations of bad-boy musicians land in Memphis

July 30, 2013 The stories of three generations of hard-living, wife-leaving, dream-chasing musicians run through Long Gone Daddies, the debut novel by Memphis writer David Wesley Williams. A coming-of-age story, pilgrimage tale, and homage to the city of Memphis, Williams’s novel delivers a gritty saga in lyrical prose that swings from sly humor to despair with the gutsy style of a great blues song. He will appear at the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 11-13. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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Sisters Under the Skin

In a new collection edited by Lorraine López, women writers speak across the boundaries of class

July 26, 2013 The eighteen contributors to An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor and Working-Class Roots are a multicultural group: black, white, Native American, Asian, Latina, lesbian, straight—and that’s not even a complete list of their declared identities. But for all the writers’ apparent diversity, the personal essays in this collection reveal them to be sisters under the skin. Americans don’t like to acknowledge the profound, lingering influence of class, but the stories that Vanderbilt professor Lorraine López has collected in An Angle of Vision describe a set of experiences shaped by poverty that is shared across all boundaries of color and community. Feelings and memories echo so insistently throughout the book that the writers seem almost to be speaking with a single voice. Lopez will appear at the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 11-13. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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Laugh Lines

Poet Andrew Hudgins dives into the deep end of humor with his memoir, The Joker

July 24, 2013 Andrew Hudgins is a distinguished poet and scholar, and he’s also a lifelong, inveterate teller of jokes. In his memoir, The Joker, he tells the story of his life through the jokes that marked its passages. Today he talks with Chapter 16 about what makes a great joke and why we need to look at the ugly side of humor. Hudgins will appear on July 27, 2013, at 4:15 p.m. at the Bairnwick Women’s Center on the campus of The University of the South in Sewanee. The event, part of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, is free and open to the public.

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The Original

James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men grew from a 1936 magazine article that was never published—until now

June 25, 2013 In 1936, James Agee wrote an article for Fortune that was never published in the magazine but eventually became his landmark book with photographer Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Presumed lost until it was uncovered in Agee’s papers in 2003, the original article—with a new selection of Evans’s photos—has just been released as Cotton Tenants: Three Families, a graceful and impassioned piece of journalism that powerfully conveys the human cost of a cruel economic system.

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Taking the Prize

Ann Patchett, David Haskell, Adam Ross, and Margaret Lazarus Dean are among the many Tennessee writers who have taken honors this year

June 21, 2013 Tennessee writers have garnered a host of awards and honors in recent months. Chapter 16 runs down the list of prizewinners: Richard Bausch, Kate Daniels, Margaret Lazarus Dean, David Haskell, Silas House, Kristen Iversen, Jane Landers, Ann Patchett, Katherine Paterson, and Daniel Sharfstein.

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Hymns to Passion

Marilyn Kallet’s new poems explore the lighter and darker sides of love

April 8, 2013 Dante, Beatrice, and Baudelaire help Marilyn Kallet explore modern love in her new poetry collection, The Love That Moves Me. In connection with the book’s launch, Kallet will give several readings in Knoxville: on April 10 in the Goins Buidling Auditorium at Pellissippi State Community College, on April 15 at the Hodges Library Auditorium on the University of Tennessee campus, and on April 21 at Union Ave. Books. Kallet will share the PSCC and UT readings with poet Arthur Smith. Click here for event details.

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