Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

She’s on the Bird

Amy Tan turns her discerning eye to the avian world

With The Backyard Bird Chronicles, novelist Amy Tan has put fiction aside in favor of drawing, observing, and pondering the multitude of birds that find refuge and refreshment at her California home. Tan will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 10.

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Good Sport

Historian Aram Goudsouzian edits a hilarious memoir by the late sportswriter Stan Isaacs

Stan Isaacs stood at the forefront of a group of offbeat sports journalists in the early 1960s, at the start of an influential career that spanned half a century. A decade after Isaacs’s death, Memphis historian Aram Goudsouzian has masterfully edited Out of Left Field: A Sportswriter’s Last Word, a collection that works as both memoir and a showcase of great sportswriting. Goudsouzian will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on April 29.

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Obsessed with Understanding

Poet Jenny Qi on what shapes her work

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: The child of Chinese immigrants, Jenny Qi entered Vanderbilt at 16, lost her mother while she was still an undergraduate, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical science while pouring her grief into poetry. Her award-winning debut collection, Focal Point, explores sorrow, death, and what we owe to each other.

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It Ain’t Math

A new biography limns the life of musician and artist Terry Allen

Brendan Greaves’ Truckload of Art: the Life and Work of Terry Allen gives the lowdown on the esteemed country musician whose art has been exhibited around the globe.

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Buzzing with Life

James Seay’s essay collection reflects on mortality, literature, and the natural world

James Seay takes readers to Mississippi, Moscow, and many places in between in his latest book, a reflective and tender essay collection titled Come! Come! Where? Where? 

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Goddesses and Coal Miners

Michael Sims remembers the bookstore where he found the world

I loved opening the bookstore alone on Sunday. I loved how it smelled — all those books with their genie-in-a-bottle dreams of love and fear, goddesses and coal miners — Sherlock Holmes on the foggy moor — barefoot Sappho — Harriet Tubman, vampires, Lassie. Often I would arrive well before noon, to have some time alone with the books.

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