Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Michael Ray Taylor

Bad Influencers

Ace Atkins’ Mississippi sheriff chases a teenage TikTok sensation across the South

Cigar-smoking Sheriff Quinn Colson tracks Tibbehah County teens wanted for murder through Memphis, Hot Springs, and New Orleans in The Heathens, the 11th novel in the Mississippi crime series by Ace Atkins.

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Still Running

The team behind John Lewis’ March launches a new series

When Rep. John Lewis passed away in July 2020, a sequel to his bestselling graphic memoir trilogy, March, was well underway. Run: Book One picks up where the trilogy left off, reuniting the team of Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, who are joined by artist L. Fury.

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Rivers Untamed

Tyler J. Kelley chronicles great American rivers and a century of effort to control them

The Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Arkansas rivers loom large in American history. In Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways, Tyler J. Kelley uses the stories of several memorable characters to examine the history of efforts to tame the rivers. He also considers a daunting future of crumbling levees and rising waters.

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Turning Back Evil

Hell on the Border continues the true story of a larger-than-life lawman

Sidney Thompson’s Hell on the Border, the second novel in a planned trilogy, continues the historical tale of Bass Reeves, an enslaved Arkansan who became a legendary frontier lawman. Thompson will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on April 17.

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A Muscular Christian

A Window to Heaven chronicles the first ascent of Denali by an Episcopal priest with a Tennessee past

In A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America’s Wildest Peak, Monteagle writer Patrick Dean chronicles the adventurous life of Hudson Stuck, a Sewanee graduate and Episcopal priest who was by turns a climber, cowboy, literature professor, master of the Iditarod, and above all an advocate for the rights and dignity of native Alaskans. On June 7, 1913, Stuck and a contentious team became the first climbers to successfully summit North America’s highest peak. Dean will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by the Sewanee School of Letters on March 4.

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The Energy Hiding in Our Hearts

Robert Gipe’s Appalachian trilogy concludes with Pop: An Illustrated Novel

“Why can’t we tell our own stories?” asks the young hero of Pop: An Illustrated Novel, the final installment of Robert Gipe’s groundbreaking Canard County trilogy. Amid the weight of the past and poverty, the 2016 presidential election, sexual assault, and an invading mess of movie people, his nuanced characters do exactly that — in fine prose and disarmingly simple drawings.

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