Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tina Chambers

Housed in a Temple of Difference

Leaf Seligman’s vivid character studies reveal the quiet desperation of carnival performers 

Through 13 linked stories, Leaf Seligman’s From the Midway creates a world apart: the tragic, broken-down world of a second-rate traveling carnival in early 20th-century America. It is a beautifully written and deeply affecting meditation on the barriers that separate us from one another and from our own deepest longings.

Read more

A City of Women

A hotel in Paris connects the stories of three formidable women

In All the Ways We Said Goodbye, Team W — the partnership nickname of bestselling authors Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White — embarks on a third novel. This time, the connecting strand running through the engrossing stories of three formidable women living in three different time periods is a place: the Ritz hotel in Paris. The authors will appear at Novel in Memphis on January 23.

Read more

There’s No Place Like Home

On the particular joy of visiting a beloved author’s house

I am drawn to the homes of famous writers like a wayfaring pilgrim on a lifelong literary crusade. Somehow, I manage to talk my patient husband into going along for the ride. But he doesn’t really mind. He has seen what these nerdy excursions mean to me.

Read more

Wild Things

Chattanoogan Dave Connis examines the fallout from censorship in his new YA novel

When Clara Evans, the protagonist of Suggested Reading, shows up for the first day of her senior year in high school, the last thing she expects to do is start a revolution. The book — Chattanooga writer Dave Connis’ second young adult novel — presents readers with a complex and nuanced portrait of the consequences of censorship.

Read more

Not Quite, but Close Enough

Pat Conroy’s widow pays tribute to the larger-than-life author and their 18 years together

In Tell Me a Story, Cassandra King Conroy recalls her happy marriage to the late novelist Pat Conroy. The author will appear at Novel in Memphis on November 5, at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 7, and at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga on December 5.

Read more

The World Would Never Be the Same

Alan Gratz’s new novel for young readers sensitively portrays multiple perspectives on D-Day

In Allies, his latest novel for young readers, New York Times bestselling author and Knoxville native Alan Gratz returns to a favorite subject: World War II depicted through the eyes of young people. Gratz will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on October 23.

Read more