Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Moonlight and Macaroons

In The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen stirs up a sweet froth of a mystery

Mullaby, North Carolina, is like many a small Southern town, complete with barbeque joints, eccentrics, and neighbors with long memories. The setting for author Sarah Addison Allen‘s latest novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Mullaby is a place where mysteries are so commonplace the town’s inhabitants have come to view them with an air of blasé acceptance. Allen will be in Nashville to read from her gentle new mystery at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on March 25 at 7 p.m.

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Creating the Playground

Michael Martone talks about ruined cities, rewired culture, and collapsing categories

Michael Martone has made a literary career out of re-imagining the ordinary, from the landscape of his native Indiana to the college sweatshirt. In anticipation of his reading at APSU on March 31, he answers questions from Chapter 16 about his fascination with place, his relationship with readers, and whether there’s a need for more college creative-writing programs.

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Horse, Dog, Land, Sky

In the harsh landscape of Wyoming, Nashvillian Laura Bell finds her elemental home

In 1977, Laura Bell—who grew up in Nashville—traveled to Wyoming for a short visit and never left. Her memoir, Claiming Ground, can more than hold its own against any survivor narrative of failed love and misplaced ambition, against any epic quest for understanding and mercy, and in language so tempered, spare, and beautiful that it rivals any poem’s. In the context of celebrity tell-alls and fabricated survivor narratives, literary worth is only rarely the measure of a memoir’s success, but if ever a book deserved to be a bestseller, Claiming Ground surely does. Laura Bell will discuss her memoir at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on March 31 at 7 p.m.

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Marshall Chapman wraps a movie

What’s new in Tennessee books—and at Chapter 16—on March 18, 2010

Marshall Chapman wraps her first movie, Love Don’t Let Me Down; the Los Angeles Times salutes Richard Bausch‘s Something Is Out There; and Ann Patchett‘s 2001 novel Bel Canto finally reaches the stage.

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Morgan's March

In Walking to Gatlinburg, Howard Frank Mosher captures both the beauty and the brutality of coming-of-age during wartime

In the way of most seventeen-year-olds, young Morgan Kinneson is certain about life. As the Civil War rages far away, his family of Vermont abolitionists holds to its beliefs by being a critical stop on the final leg of the Underground Railroad. When an elderly runaway named Jesse Moses is killed by slave hunters while under Morgan’s care, the guilt-stricken youth vows to avenge the slave’s death. Instead, he finds himself on the run from the same pack of slave hunters, protecting a rune-covered stone that Moses had slipped into his pocket. Unaware of the stone’s full significance, Morgan nonetheless recognizes the need to keep it safe. Thus begins the journey at the heart of Howard Frank Mosher‘s Walking to Gatlinburg, his beautifully written and utterly engrossing tenth novel. Mosher will discuss the book at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on March 21 at 4 p.m.

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Delightfully Dysfunctional

With The Spellmans Strike Again Lisa Lutz brings a quirky mystery series to a captivating close

Lisa Lutz brings her four-novel mystery series to a close with The Spellmans Strike Again, another outing with this delightfully dysfunctional family of detectives. The family saga is narrated by Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, whose life has been a series of bad choices, poor judgment, bone-headedness, and other deep character flaws. Fortunately for Izzy, her mother, father, uncle, sister, brother, and assorted friends and lovers are equally eccentric—and equally annoying and lovable. Described by People magazine as “the love child of Dirty Harry and Harriet the Spy,” the Spellman books offer an addictive romp from the first page of the book to the last, including all the footnotes and appendices. Lutz will appear at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on March 22 at 7 p.m.

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