Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Sean Kinch

Dim Lights, Dark Hallways

In Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, a neuroscientist tries to makes sense of her family’s unraveling

In Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, Gifty, a first-generation American whose family immigrated from Ghana, learns young that religion cannot explain her family’s misfortunes, so she turns to science for answers. Gyasi will discuss Transcendent Kingdom at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

Read more

The Resentment Game

In Lee Conell’s The Party Upstairs, a father and daughter struggle to find their places in stratified Manhattan

Martin and Ruby, the father-daughter tandem at the center of Lee Conell’s debut novel, The Party Upstairs, appear content living in the basement of an elegant New York apartment building. Over the course of a single day, however, their façades crumble, and hidden emotions explode to the surface.

Read more

The Resurrection Racket

W.M. Akers returns to his mythical Jazz Age New York City, where time is out of joint

In W.M. Akers’ Westside Saints, set in an alternative version of 1920s New York, detective Gilda Carr must solve mysteries surrounding the appearance of the dead, including her late mother.

Read more

All Aboard the Crazy Train

Penelope Lemon returns in Operation Dimwit

In Operation Dimwit, the second Penelope Lemon novel from Tennessee native Inman Majors, our plucky protagonist must stare down a suspicious cat, trap a trained skunk, and resist the intimidations of a weirdly competitive gym trainer.

Read more

The Love-Rack

David Madden’s inventive biography details the writing life of an American noir master

David Madden’s The Voice of James M. Cain tells the story of his mentor’s development as writer, from young journalist to hard-boiled icon who believed in giving readers what they want.

Read more

The AIDS Years

In Carter Sickels’ The Prettiest Star, set in 1986, a young AIDS patient encounters bigotry when he returns to his hometown in Ohio

Set in 1986 during the height of the AIDS epidemic, Carter Sickels’ The Prettiest Star depicts a sick young man returning to his hometown in rural Ohio and confronting ignorance and prejudice, the worst of it coming from his own family.

Read more