Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

All The Mistakes Families Make

Small-town lovers grapple with an unexpected pregnancy in Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s Holding on to Nothing

In her 2019 debut novel, Holding on to Nothing, Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne creates a fresh, moving story of young lovers in a small East Tennessee town and the myriad forces that trouble them as they set out to make a family. The book has just been released in a new paperback edition

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This World of Broken Sins

A small-town deputy comes to terms with his past as he tries to save an innocent man

In Henry Wise’s debut novel Holy City, a tormented police officer investigates a murder that digs up secrets the county would rather keep buried. Wise will appear at Novel in Memphis on June 2.

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Loving Country

Willie, Waylon, and the Boys tells the stories of Nashville’s quintessential outsiders

The music scene in Nashville is tricky and hard to describe until you figure out how obsessed the city is with the relationship between conformity and rebellion. Brian Fairbanks provides plenty of detail about the full-cylinder lives of country music iconoclasts Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings in Willie, Waylon, and the Boys: How Nashville Outsiders Changed Country Music Forever.

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Fletch Inhaled Twice

Reflecting on the influence of I.M. Fletcher and his creator, Gregory Mcdonald

Gregory Mcdonald’s 1974 novel Fletch created the modern comic mystery, influencing a generation of writers who followed. In addition to nine Fletch books, Mcdonald created such series characters as Flynn, Skylar, and Son of Fletch, writing many of those from his home near Pulaski, Tennessee.

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Remembering George

It was 1966, and only one of us died in Vietnam

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: On Memorial Day I always think of my friend George Mangrum of Lauderdale County, Alabama. This is his story. It needs to be told.

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Looking Back on 50 Years of Tennessee Books

50 Books / HT50, Part 9: 2012-2017

The mid-2010s were an eventful time on the Tennessee literary scene. Awards were received, some beloved writers left us, and of course, the Southern Festival of Books brought amazing authors to Tennessee every year. There were also plenty of wonderful Tennessee books released. The sampling in this installment of the 50 Books / HT50 series features titles with a connection to each region of the state, and — though we didn’t plan it that way — there’s not a traditional novel in the bunch. 

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