Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Seeing Yourself in the Story

Heather Truett on her debut novel and bringing more neurodivergent voices to publishing

Heather Truett’s debut YA novel, Kiss and Repeat, brings to life the author’s commitment to more neurodivergent voices in publishing. Currently an M.F.A. candidate in creative writing at the University of Memphis, Truett is launching her career with a charming, relatable story centered around Stephen, a teen with Tourette’s syndrome who discovers that his tics disappear when he is kissing someone. Truett will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on May 25.

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A Brief Life

Motherhood is the beating heart of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet

Maggie O’Farrell’s award-winning novel Hamnet follows the brief life of William Shakespeare’s son and offers a backstory for his wife, Agnes, as woman, mother, and muse. O’Farrell will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 22.

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Must Not Love Dogs

On love and uncomfortable nostalgia

When I tell people I don’t want a dog, they inevitably look at me like I’m a psychopath. I get it. Anti-dog people are nuts. They’re curmudgeons who probably also hate baby smiles, freshly baked cookies, and Betty White. I tell these folks it’s because I’m just too lazy to have a dog, but that’s a lie. It’s because I had the perfect dog once, and she was the one.

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“How to Make a Wolf”

Book Excerpt: Every Lash

Every Lash is Leigh Anne Couch’s second collection after Houses Fly Away (2007) and a chapbook, Green and Helpless (2008). Her poems are published widely in magazines including PANK, Gulf Coast, Subtropic, Smartish Pace, Nelle, and Cincinnati Review. Now a freelance editor, she was formerly at Duke University Press and The Sewanee Review. She lives in Sewanee with writer Kevin Wilson and their sons.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are

A teenager explores her heritage and herself in Delhi

In Sheba Karim’s fourth YA novel, The Marvelous Mirza Girls, Noreen is grieving the death of her beloved aunt. She postpones her first year of college and travels to Delhi, where — with the charming Kabir as her guide — she explores the chaotic and beautiful city, a stark contrast to her suburban New Jersey home. Karim will discuss The Marvelous Mirza Girls at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 18.

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The Curvature of the World

Great Circle explores the interconnected lives surrounding a famous woman aviator

Maggie Shipstead’s century-spanning Great Circle traces aviator Marian Graves’ single-minded pursuit of flight and the lives of numerous characters connected to her, including a scandalous movie star preparing to play Marian onscreen. Shipstead will discuss the novel at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 20.

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