Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

More than a Dream

Jon Meacham delivers a rich account of a life built on protest and hope

In His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham, a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt, has written a moving, rigorously researched account of the late congressman’s life, with an afterword written by Lewis himself. Meacham will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 25.

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Throwing Scissors

When safety feels like suffocation

Maybe, like my mother, I am not as afraid of fear as I thought. Because, right now, every part of me wants a storm I can stand before.

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Queen’s Rules

Late R&B legend Denise LaSalle always called her own shots

Always the Queen: The Denise LaSalle Story offers a candid account of the life of the late R&B icon. This posthumous memoir, written with blues historian David Whiteis, also serves as an entertaining and boldly rendered look into the history of the musical genre LaSalle loved.

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“There’s No Way to Know Which Dragonfly is My Brother”

A 14-year-old makes a difficult journey of self-discovery

Award-winning author Kacen Callender returns to middle-grade fiction with King and the Dragonflies. King is convinced that his much-loved older brother, Khalid, became a dragonfly after he died suddenly. King has to struggle through his own and his family’s grief while grappling with the nature of friendship and his questions about his sexuality. Callender will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Battered by the Bomb

Within a love triangle, broken characters seek healing from the wounds of war

The war is over, but deep and debilitating scars remain in Jennie Fields’ novel, Atomic Love, set in 1950s Chicago. When an FBI agent asks a former Manhattan Project nuclear physicist to investigate her former lover, who is accused of treason, her quiet life is turned upside down. Jennie Fields will discuss Atomic Love at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 18.

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Radical Joy

In Alice Randall’s Black Bottom Saints, a dying man eulogizes the “Black Camelot” of mid-20th-century Detroit 

In Alice Randall’s fifth novel, Black Bottom Saints, a terminally ill columnist, club impresario, and dance school founder dictates tender hagiographies of the Black creatives who built and nurtured a thriving community in mid-20th-century Detroit. Randall will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Fisk University on August 18 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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