Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Ed Tarkington

Our Future is Airborne

In Virgil Wander, Leif Enger celebrates the heart of Middle America

Leif Enger’s new novel, Virgil Wander, is a paean to the small triumphs and tragedies of the forgotten Midwest. Enger will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 13.

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An Idea No One Considered Making an Argument Against

Kevin Powers, author of the acclaimed Iraq War novel The Yellow Birds, returns with A Shout in the Ruins

“The truth has a funny way of making its way in the world,” writes Kevin Powers in his new novel, A Shout in the Ruins, which explores painful truths about the human impulse toward violence and empire. Powers will appear at the 2018 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 12-14. Festival events are free and open to the public.

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How Close to Hell We’ll Have to Come

In Beautiful Country Burn Again, Ben Fountain dissects the election of 2016

With righteous fury and scathing wit, Ben Fountain’s Beautiful Country Burn Again dissects the monster of American politics in the age of Donald Trump, providing what may stand as the definitive account of the 2016 election. Fountain will appear at the 2018 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 12-14.

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The Scourge of War and the Perils of Peace

In The Thin Light of Freedom, Edward L. Ayers reconsiders the Civil War through two communities on opposite sides

With The Thin Light of Freedom, Edward L. Ayers casts new light on the Civil War through the experience of two communities—one Northern, one Southern—occupied by enemy armies made up of their former countrymen. Ayers will appear at the 2018 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 12-14.

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Let the Ruin Come Down

In Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine, Kevin Wilson plumbs the tragicomic depths of misbegotten lives

A widow welcomes home her drug-addicted son after the demise of his rock band. A single mother tries to talk her son out of dressing up for Halloween as his dead brother. A chain-smoking priest attempts to cure an altar boy who faints during Communion. With the stories in Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine, Sewanee fiction writer Kevin Wilson continues his tragicomic exploration of the dark side of domesticity.

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Let the Truth Show Itself in the Work

Chapter 16 talks with James McBride, author of the 2016 Nashville Reads selection, The Color of Water

Nearly twenty years have passed since the publication of James McBride’s first book, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. The memoir spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and continues to be a regular selection for city-wide programs.

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