Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Brothers and Lovers

Martin Wilson’s debut novel brings gay coming-of-age tales out of the YA closet

The debut novel from Martin Wilson is a welcome contribution to the small but growing genre of young-adult novels about first love between gay teens. The romance in What They Always Tell Us is wrapped in an authentic portrayal of contemporary, upper-middle-class teenage life. In its portrait of two brothers, the novel also offers an uplifting look at the challenges to—and triumphs of—family loyalty.

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Meeting John Seigenthaler

Music journalist Barry Mazor will appear Sunday on public television’s A Word on Words

April 2, 2010 John Seigenthaler will interview Barry Mazor, author of Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, on the April 4 edition of A Word on Words. The program airs on Nashville Public Television at 10:30 on Sunday morning. Learn more about A Word on Words here, and read Paul McCoy’s interview with Mazor for Chapter 16 here.

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After Eudora

In an age of big-box retail and multi-ethnic migration, can a distinctly Southern literature survive?

A friend of mine spent his childhood “playing church” and arguing over whose turn it was to preach and whose to be saved. And a relative recently attended a wedding reception where the centerpiece was a whole hog, smoking away in a homemade smoker on a trailerbed still hitched to the pick-up truck. When the owner got mad about something or other, he got in and drove away, pulling the smoking hog on the trailer behind him. (More potato salad, anyone?) These stories are true, and funny, and Southern. But they are also potential fodder for some bad Southern fiction.

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Books and Breaking News

Chapter 16 begins publishing daily

April 1, 2010 When Humanities Tennessee launched Chapter 16 last October, we held our collective breath a bit, wondering whether there were enough book lovers to sustain a literary website even as newspapers around the state were cutting their books coverage or shuttering their book sections altogether.

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Dooce Goes to Washington

Heather Armstrong participates in White House forum on work-life balance

March 31, 2010 Today, on one day’s notice, mommy-blogger and Memphis native Heather Armstrong, author of It Sucked and Then I Cried, dropped everything and flew to D.C. at the invitation of the White House. Her role: to explain to the president of the United States how hard it is to be a working parent.

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Fathers of the Holy Spirit

Madison Smartt Bell pleads for the preservation of crucial libraries in Haiti

March 30, 2010 When Madison Smartt Bell was researching his trilogy of novels about the struggle for Haitian independence, it took him ten years to find the materials he needed—and not because Google didn’t yet exist. “At the time that I got my first glimpse of it, the Haitian Library of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit had recently been unearthed from the hiding place it had occupied during the Duvalier regime,” he writes in an article in The Huffington Post. “The Spiritain fathers were prominent in the liberation theology movement, whose democratic activism made them enemies of the dictatorial state. Duvalier expelled them from Haiti in the sixties; the library was boxed, and effectively buried.”

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