Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Michael Ray Taylor

Shades of Humanity

Ruta Sepetys’ young adult masterpiece becomes a graphic novel

Between Shades of Gray, an award-winning 2011 YA novel by Nashville writer Ruta Sepetys, has been adapted as a stunning graphic novel illustrated by Dave Kopka and a talented support team. The story explores the horrors of Stalin’s gulags as experienced by a young Lithuanian artist deported to Siberia in 1941 with her mother and brother.

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Murder Songs and Mountain Secrets

A story of women bound by blood and music

The Ballad of Laurel Springs, the new novel from East Tennessee native Janet Beard, follows nine generations of women in a fictional town at the base of the Smoky Mountains, weaving murder, tragedy, and heartbreak into a singular tale bound together by the power of music.

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Bad Influencers

Ace Atkins’ Mississippi sheriff chases a teenage TikTok sensation across the South

Cigar-smoking Sheriff Quinn Colson tracks Tibbehah County teens wanted for murder through Memphis, Hot Springs, and New Orleans in The Heathens, the 11th novel in the Mississippi crime series by Ace Atkins.

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Still Running

The team behind John Lewis’ March launches a new series

When Rep. John Lewis passed away in July 2020, a sequel to his bestselling graphic memoir trilogy, March, was well underway. Run: Book One picks up where the trilogy left off, reuniting the team of Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, who are joined by artist L. Fury.

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Rivers Untamed

Tyler J. Kelley chronicles great American rivers and a century of effort to control them

The Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Arkansas rivers loom large in American history. In Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways, Tyler J. Kelley uses the stories of several memorable characters to examine the history of efforts to tame the rivers. He also considers a daunting future of crumbling levees and rising waters.

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Turning Back Evil

Hell on the Border continues the true story of a larger-than-life lawman

Sidney Thompson’s Hell on the Border, the second novel in a planned trilogy, continues the historical tale of Bass Reeves, an enslaved Arkansan who became a legendary frontier lawman. Thompson will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on April 17.

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