Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

The Hard Beauty

Unsparing honesty about grief fuels Charles Dodd White’s A Year Without Months

At the center of A Year Without Months — the compelling new memoir-in-essays by Knoxville writer Charles Dodd White — lies a brutal biographical fact: the suicides of White’s father, uncle, and son. From these events, White fashions a work of candor, compassion, and hard-won beauty. Charles Dodd White will discuss A Year Without Months at Dos Gatos Coffee (sponsored by Atlas Books) in Johnson City on May 19.

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Made to Survive

Poet Ocean Vuong finds an original voice for grief in Time Is a Mother

In his new collection, Time Is a Mother, poet Ocean Vuong addresses his grief for his late mother and, through the lens of his own hard-won survival, brings energy and originality to this elegiac work. Ocean Vuong will discuss Time Is a Mother at a ticketed event at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 12.

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Called to the Water

A global fleet of stories about the deep

Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue — a new anthology of speculative fiction co-edited by acclaimed Memphis writer Sheree Renée Thomas — recognizes and celebrates the boundless wealth of creative sustenance offered by our world’s bodies of water.

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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.

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Among the Pollinators

For Tennessee writers, our environment’s fate hinges on unearthing the truth about where we stand

When I look across Tennessee’s literary ecosystem, I see how many of our writers feel compelled to write about their relationship to the land. Some have intertwined their literary vision with an environmental mission. Others have devoted their work to excavating truths about our history that have lain buried for too long.

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Compact, but Planetary

Richard Powers’ Bewilderment is a meditation on grief and the possibilities of radical empathy

In an early chapter of Bewilderment, Richard Powers’ heartbreaking and transcendent new novel, astrobiologist Theo Byrne charts the far reaches of the universe for all forms of life. But caring for his troubled young son, Robin, becomes a more dangerous and profound experiment, provoking questions about radical empathy and humankind’s survival.

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