Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tina Chambers

Chaotic, Mysterious, Unfathomable

Blue Marlin is a rollicking road trip through author Lee Smith’s own fictional history

The latest offering from iconic Southern writer Lee Smith is Blue Marlin, a sweet and funny novella loosely based on her family. Smith says in an afterword, “Of all the stories I’ve ever written, this one is dearest to me, capturing the essence of my own childhood.”

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Writing About the Tough Stuff

J. Kasper Kramer’s debut middle grade novel celebrates the resilience of its young protagonist

Chattanooga author J. Kasper Kramer talks with Chapter 16 about her debut novel for middle grade readers, The Story That Cannot Be Told, which portrays one brave girl’s fight against injustice during the months leading up to the Romanian Revolution of 1989.

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A World in Black and White

Maryville author Rhonda Lynn Rucker’s new YA novel examines racial conflict in 1960s Birmingham

“It was a bitch growing up in Birmingham. Unless you were white. And Earl B. Peterson wasn’t white,” writes Maryville author Rhonda Lynn Rucker in her young adult novel, Welcome to Bombingham. Rucker shines a spotlight on the systemic racism and unchecked violence that plagued the black community in early 1960s Birmingham, Alabama.

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Maybe Nothing, Maybe Wolves

YA author Court Stevens ratchets up the suspense in The June Boys

“Someone is stealing Tennessee’s boys. Report suspicious behavior.” Ominous messages on local billboards set the scene in Court Stevens’ latest young adult mystery, The June Boys. 

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What Could and Could Not Be

A close bond between cousins is tested in Susan Beckham Zurenda’s debut novel

In Susan Beckham Zurenda’s debut novel, Bells for Eli, narrator Delia Green describes her close relationship through the years with her cousin Eli, whose family lives across the street in the small town of Green Branch, South Carolina. Their bond endures in the wake of an accident that changes both their lives forever. Zurenda will discuss Bells for Eli at The Arts Building in Chattanooga on March 2.

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Delights, Not Dollars

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s second novel in her New York Public Library series considers the true value of stories

The Story Seeker, the second entry in Nashville writer Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s New York Public Library series for middle school readers, takes place in early 1929. Its protagonist, a vivacious 11-year-old named Viviani, is a lover of stories — and a mystery-solving sleuth. Tubb will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on January 30 and at Barnes & Noble at Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga on March 24.

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