Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

How Much Do We Owe the Dead?

In The Sentence, a customer’s ghost haunts a bookstore over the course of one harrowing year

Louise Erdrich’s bookstore-set ghost story, The Sentence, takes place between All Souls’ Eve 2019 and All Souls’ Eve 2020, a year of troubling, destabilizing events, when the “rules for being alive kept changing.” Erdrich will discuss The Sentence at a ticketed virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 9.

Read more

Harm Reduction

Sam Quinones’ The Least of Us makes a compelling case for our survival

In The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth, journalist Sam Quinones reveals the new street drugs that are decimating the lives of Americans — and the people who are fighting them in their communities. Quinones will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 5.

Read more

“Willie Thomas Sr. and Harold Cash”

Book Excerpt: Black Cowboys of Rodeo

Black Cowboys of Rodeo: Unsung Heroes from Harlem to Hollywood and the American West by Keith Ryan Cartwright collects the stories of pioneering Black cowboys, placing their challenges and triumphs against the backdrop of America’s struggle for racial equality and social justice. Cartwright will appear at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 4.

Read more

The Courtroom of Fiction

Percival Everett’s The Trees bears witness to America’s long history of violence

In an age when many find justice elusive, some have resorted to the courtroom of fiction. The Trees by Percival Everett is a prime example of this literary justice, examining an American history of lynching, racism, and police brutality.

Read more


Book Excerpt: Moon Jar

Didi Jackson’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Best American Poetry, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. She currently teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University. 

Read more

The First Step to Being Brave

A young girl in 1910 New York wrestles with fears both real and imagined

“Not everything is a monster,” admits 10-year-old Essie O’Neill in J. Kasper Kramer’s new middle grade novel, The List of Unspeakable Fears. “But some things are.” Essie should know; she keeps a list. And moving to a spooky old house in the middle of an island full of dangerously sick people is about to provide a lot more entries.

Read more