Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

The Fringe of Dream

Patti Smith chronicles her idiosyncratic path through the creative life in Year of the Monkey

As evidenced by the travels depicted her most recent memoir, Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith has embodied the nomadic spirit of the public troubadour for decades. Whether she’s performing riotous sets with her band or working side by side with literary lights, Smith has forged a role in our arts culture unlike any other. 

Read more

Moments in the Hunger

Novelist Louise Erdrich draws from her own family history for The Night Watchman

Drawn from her own family history, Louise Erdrich’s stirring new novel, The Night Watchman, unfolds around dedicated Chippewa tribal councilman Thomas Wazhushk, who enlists the help of many in his community to fight encroaching legal threat to their tribe’s survival. 

Read more

This Cult of Niceness

Lorraine López sends up the foibles of arts faculty in Postcards from the Gerund State

Lorraine M. López’s sharply funny collection of linked short stories, Postcards from the Gerund State, focuses on a group of women faculty navigating life and work at a small conservative women’s college.

Read more

Some Words to the Close and Holy Darkness

A writer explores her enduring ties to a seasonal classic by Dylan Thomas

Every year, when the stresses of the holiday season begin whipping up into frenzy, I weather them by imagining that I’m roaming around the world described in the Dylan Thomas story “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”: the magic of winter, the mysteries surrounding older family members, and the odd flexes of time when normal schedules are suspended.

Read more

Memory is the Chariot

Ta-Nehisi Coates turns his talents toward fiction in a powerful debut novel

Journalist and essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates brings compassion and mastery to his debut novel, The Water Dancer, a story of slavery, freedom, and the mystical power of memory. Coates will discuss The Water Dancer at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville on November 6 at 6:15 p.m.

Read more

All The Mistakes Families Make

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

In her 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. Shelburne will discuss Holding on to Nothing at The Porch in Nashville on Oct. 10 and at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on Oct. 11-13.

Read more