Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Serenity Gerbman

The Collusion of Fact and Fiction

Gary Slaughter talks with Chapter 16 about the challenges and pleasures of writing an autobiographical novel

May 1, 2012 Nashvillian Gary Slaughter combines personal memory with extensive research in the creation of his Cottonwood novels, which are based on his own childhood during World War II. Slaughter grew up in Owosso, Michigan, near a German prisoner-of-war camp, and his novels begin with this little-remembered facet of American life during the war years. The final book in the series, Cottonwood Summer ’45, brings the novel’s young protagonists, Jase and Danny, to Nashville as they continue their adventures.

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Continuing Tribute

Writer William Gay is remembered by publications nationwide

March 13, 2012 The death of Tennessee novelist William Gay at his home on February 23 brought reminiscences and career retrospectives from publications around the country. Most, like the obituary in The New York Times, noted his rural roots and lack of a formal education while connecting him stylistically to Southern literary icons William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and Flannery O’Connor.

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Sepetys's Golden Kite

Nashvillian Ruta Sepetys has won the Golden Kite Award for Fiction, another prestigious honor for her acclaimed debut young-adult novel, Between Shades of Gray

March 9, 2012 Nashvillian Ruta Sepetys has won the Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Ilustrators (SCBWI), another prestigious honor for her acclaimed debut young-adult novel Between Shades of Gray. Sepetys will be given the award, along with a $2,500 cash prize, at the organization’s annual meeting in August.

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William Gay, 1943-2012

Tennessee writers and readers mourn the loss of William Gay, legendary novelist from Hohenwald

February 24, 2012 Novelist William Gay died at his home in Hohenwald, Tennessee, last night, at age sixty-eight. Among the most critically acclaimed of his generation of Southern writers, Gay began his public writing career famously late, when, at age fifty-five, his first short story was published in The Georgia Review. His first novel, The Long Home, won the James A. Michener Memorial Prize and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 1999. He followed that success with another novel, Provinces of Night, a short-story collection, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, and a third novel, Twilight.

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Nationally Noted

Tennessee writers are popping up on best-of lists all over the media

December 19, 2011 A year ago, the future looked grim for Tennessee bookstore patrons. Beloved stores Carpe Librum in Knoxville and Davis-Kidd in Nashville were closing, and Davis-Kidd in Memphis faced an uncertain future. The Borders chain teetered toward failure, and the e-reader reached its tipping point, becoming one of the most popular holiday gift items. One year later, it’s clear that the physical bookstore is not only alive but possibly even experiencing something of a resurgence—just as Tennessee authors were bringing out some of the biggest books of the year.

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Remembering Rebecca

Rebecca Bain’s death is a deep loss to the Nashville literary community, as Humanities Tennessee’s Serenity Gerbman knows all too well

October 20, 2011 Rebecca Bain’s voice was with us in intimate spaces: inside our cars, around our kitchen tables, coming from the clock radio beside the bed in the morning. Hers was the cheerfully cajoling voice that led the radio pledge drive, that shared the morning news, and that delighted in announcing a new literary discovery.

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