Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

An Oak Ridge Story

Half-Life of a Secret explores a family’s secrets and a nation’s silence

In Half-Life of a Secret, Emily Strasser tells the story of her grandfather, a chemist for Oak Ridge’s World War II Manhattan Project, and how family secrets intersect with national ones.

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Memories of Massacre

Historians Beverly Bond and Susan O’Donovan illuminate a tragic chapter in Memphis history

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: With Remembering the Memphis Massacre, a collection of essays by notable historians, editors Beverly Bond and Susan O’Donovan bring to light a forgotten chapter in Southern history and explain how it shaped the future of American democracy. 

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Too Coarse for Poetry

Tom Piazza’s new novel imagines an 1883 meeting of writers hoping to redefine America

In Tom Piazza’s novel The Auburn Conference, an idealistic scholar arranges a meeting of famous writers in 1883 to debate the meaning of America. Piazza will discuss the book at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis on May 11.

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A River’s Tale

Patti Callahan Henry tells a story of two sisters and the power of fairy tales

Operation Pied Piper, initiated by the British government in September 1939, relocated thousands of children in an effort to protect them from war bombing. In Patti Callahan Henry’s novel The Secret Book of Flora Lea, young sisters Hazel and Flora find themselves displaced with so many others, thrust into a terrifying adventure. Henry will appear at Landmark Booksellers in Franklin and Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 17.

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Lights! Camera! Comic Books!

Tom Hanks delivers a sprawling, genre-bending tale

Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks has penned a stunning debut novel with a mouthful of a title: The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. Hanks will discuss the book before a sold-out crowd at Montgomery Bell Academy on May 11.

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Bonds Across Time and Space

Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water braids stories over generations

Abraham Verghese mines the history of Kerala’s St. Thomas Christians — and larger debates about faith and science — in his sprawling second novel, The Covenant of Water. Verghese will discuss the book at a ticketed event at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 18.

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