Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Empty Children

In The Prophets, debut novelist Robert Jones Jr. reimagines the slave narrative

The plantation at the center of Robert Jones Jr.’s The Prophets is called Empty, but this bold and poetic slave story is replete with passionate characters and disturbing events. Jones will discuss The Prophets at a 2021 Southern Festival of Books virtual event on September 30.

Read more

Lucille’s Better Half

Blues legend B.B. King gets the royal treatment from biographer Daniel de Visé

Daniel de Visé’s King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B.B. King chronicles a life, traces a sound, and tells a story worthy of its iconic subject. Daniel de Visé will discuss the book at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville on October 5. 

Read more

Wolves in Shepherd’s Clothing

Jesus and John Wayne considers the “evangelical cult of masculinity”

Calvin University historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez analyzes a toxic mythology of manliness at the heart of evangelical culture in Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. Du Mez will appear at a virtual session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books on September 30.

Read more

A Larger Suitcase

Rickie Lee Jones recalls her family and career in Last Chance Texaco

Rickie Lee Jones’ memoir looks back at her family, her career, and the long road to seeing the beauty in her life. Jones will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 9.

Read more

Interludes of Fulfillment

Nichole Perkins explores themes of identity, liberation, and belonging

Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins is a memoir fleshed out via a collection of essays. Weaving popular culture, humor, and Black-woman truths, Perkins explores themes of sexual identity and liberation, desirability, and belonging. Perkins will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

Read more

Too Big and Too Loud and Too Much

A hilarious and poignant YA novel about finding your place in the world

In How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland introduces readers to 17-year-old Moon, who longs to be loved for who she is but worries that she doesn’t deserve success and happiness — especially since everyone keeps comparing her to her more popular sister. Gilliland will discuss the novel at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on September 21.

Read more