Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Michael Ray Taylor

First Blood

Holly Tucker talks with Chapter 16 about the macabre history of blood transfusion

March 1, 2011 Holly Tucker will discuss and sign copies of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution on March 2 at 11:30 a.m. in the main Nashville Public Library. The event is part of the Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box series, a joint venture of Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Public Library. At 11:30 a.m., lunch is served. At noon, the program begins. The event is free and open to the public.

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Hot Blooded

Nashville author Holly Tucker explores the fascinating history of blood transfusion

March 1, 2011 In her fascinating new history, Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, Vanderbilt associate professor Holly Tucker brings to life the highly charged and sometimes dangerously ignorant world of research that gave birth to what we now regard as “scientific method.” Tucker will discuss and sign copies of Blood Work on March 2 at 11:30 a.m. in the main Nashville Public Library. The event is part of the Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box series, a joint venture of Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

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Tackling Life

In a new memoir, NFL star Michael Oher writes about life before The Blind Side

February 15, 2011 In the middle of Michael Oher’s rookie season as an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, a big-budget Hollywood movie based on his life premiered to rave reviews, but he was too busy with football to watch it. It wasn’t until a couple of months later, after the season, that he managed to buy a ticket to The Blind Side, which starred Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and Quinton Aaron. Oher sat down in the darkened theatre with a couple of his teammates to watch the movie, based on a 2006 book by Michael Lewis. As Oher describes the experience in his own new book, I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond, co-written with sports writer Don Yeager, he reacted to the film with both bewilderment and “wounded pride.” Oher spoke with Chapter 16 prior to his signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on February 16 at 6 p.m.

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Chasing Plagues

In Asleep, Molly Caldwell Crosby examines the human side of an epidemic

February 8, 2011 When Molly Caldwell Crosby’s first book, The American Plague, appeared in 2006, critics praised the way it wove individual tales of horror and heroism into a broader scientific framework. The book recounted how the population of Memphis, where Crosby lives, was decimated by a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, and told the stories of doctors fighting to identify the disease and halt its spread. In her second book, Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains one of Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries, published last year and now out in paper, Crosby used a similar mix of memorable characters and scientific detection to follow a chilling epidemic of sleeping sickness in the wake of World War I, a disease that left most of its victims dead or brain-damaged. Prior to her appearance at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on February 8 at 6 p.m., she answered questions from Chapter 16 about the process of combining very human stories and scientific research.

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Magic Surrealism

In his stunning first novel, poet Philip Stephens journeys deep into the Missouri Ozarks

February 3, 2011 Philip Stephens’s debut novel, Miss Me When I’m Gone, is a brilliant quest narrative featuring two protagonists, one light and one dark, who move through a landscape where the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez operates in a setting that evokes William Faulkner and with a soundtrack that could have come straight out of Willie Nelson’s fever dreams. Stephens will read from Miss Me When I’m Gone at Borders Books in Nashville on February 5 at 2 p.m.

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Murder Memoir

With relentless fascination, Bob Cowser Jr. recounts the murder of a childhood friend, and the trial and execution—two decades later—of her killer

January 4, 2011 In the fall of 1979, Bob Cowser Jr. was a nine-year-old baseball enthusiast in a suburb of Martin, Tennessee, when his friend Cary Ann Medlin was abducted, raped, and murdered by a misfit—in the purest, Southern Gothic sense of the word—named Robert Glen Coe. The last time Cowser saw his playmate alive was through the chain link fence of a public swimming pool where he had spent much of his summer. The girl called out his name and asked, “What are you doing here?” In Green Fields: Crime, Punishment, & A Boyhood Between, Cowser, a thoughtful essayist and author of three previous works of creative nonfiction, explores the myriad implications of the question. What is he doing here?

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