Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Searching for the Promised Land

Bruce Feiler finds Moses in America

In a tour-de-force of popular history, America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story, author Bruce Feiler has contributed a genuinely new idea, proposing that the ancient tale of a Hebrew prophet forms a key narrative underlying the ongoing experiment that is the United States. According to Feiler, this narrative has had a profound impact on individuals, movements, and even the founding of the republic itself. America’s Prophet is a book about the power of a story to inspire a people who are always searching for the path to freedom.

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Starting Over

Why Helen Hemphill gave up a successful career in business to write novels for children

Not very long ago, YA novelist Helen Hemphill was doing PR for the finance industry—about as far from the bright colors and characters of the children’s-book section as it’s possible to get. Then, after more than two decades in the business, Hemphill walked away. The gamble paid off: in the past four years alone, she has published three novels, and all of them have racked up accolades and starred reviews. Her second title, Runaround, has just been released in paperback.

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So A Guy Walks Into a Pawn Shop

What’s new in Tennessee books—and at Chapter 16—on December 3, 2009

A biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt wins the National Book Award for nonfiction, two Tennessee gentlemen launch a blog, a Nashville native signs a deal to sell his memoir at Waffle House, and Cormac McCarthy puts his writing partner on the auction block.

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Redemption Song

Andrew B. Lewis follows the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and its leaders from Nashville’s north side into the heart of Dixie

A group of earnest and thoughtful Nashville students became leaders in one of history’s most impressive—and successful—mass movements, as they threw their bodies, their very lives, on the line to end segregation in the South. The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation, by Andrew B. Lewis,, is a new look at this era, examining it through the lens of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and its leaders—Diane Nash, John Lewis, Bob Moses, Stokely Carmichael, Marion Barry, Bob Zellner, and Julian Bond.

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"In Praise of Winter Trees"

Bill Brown is a part-time lecturer at Vanderbilt University. He has written four poetry collections, three chapbooks and a textbook. The recipient of many awards and fellowships, Brown lives in the hills of Robertson County with his wife, Suzanne, and a tribe of cats.

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The Widower of the South

In A Separate Country, Robert Hicks takes a turn around war-scarred New Orleans with the Confederate general who searched for redemption there

Robert Hicks dreams big. In A Separate Country, his new novel, he re-imagines in 400-plus pages the life and last days of the mythic John Bell Hood, former general of the Confederate States of America. This sort of endeavor is only natural for a man whose first novel was The New York Times bestseller The Widow of the South and who is now leader of Franklin’s Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space. Hicks has never shied from the big task, whether fighting the Herculean sprawl of Williamson County or imagining the thoughts of a legendary figure.

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