Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Cold Pursuit

A girl’s quest to save her sister heats up Ellie Cypher’s debut YA thriller

The Girl from Shadow Springs, the debut YA novel by East Tennessee writer Ellie Cypher, depicts a young woman’s struggle against a brutal environment as she tries to save her kidnapped sister.

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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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Place Justice

Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin talks with Chapter 16 about nurturing Black-affirming spaces

Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin is a researcher, cultural worker, and lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she earned a Ph.D. in sociology. As co-host of the Black in Appalachia podcast and the founder of The Bottom, a non-profit community space in Knoxville, she’s working to reclaim space for Black voices and communities.

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Guiding Us Through Grief

With gratitude for Edward Hirsch and his expansive body of work

With over 2.7 million lives lost worldwide in just one year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic — nearly 550,000 in the United States alone — there are few poets whose work is more suited to guide us through this overwhelming grief than Edward Hirsch, who has said, “We need poetry to help us transform the oceanic depths of feeling into art.” Hirsch will appear at a virtual event hosted by Vanderbilt University on April 8.

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The Keys to a Better Life

Photographer Andrew Feiler documents the Rosenwald Schools of the Jim Crow South

In A Better Life for Their Children, photographer Andrew Feiler explores the history of the Rosenwald Schools, a collaboration between Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald that brought education to thousands of Black children in the segregated South. Feiler will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 14.


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The Land of Missing Things

In C Pam Zhang’s debut novel, orphaned siblings struggle to survive in the unforgiving American West

In C Pam Zhang’s debut novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold, Lucy and Sam, orphaned siblings of Chinese laborers, fend for themselves in the barren hills of the American West in the aftermath of the gold rush. Zhang will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books on April 12.

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