Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Beth Waltemath

No Holding Back

Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild practices radical empathy in every form

April 9, 2013 Cheryl Strayed’s ability to tell her story while inviting others to ask questions of their own lives has attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who made Wild the first pick in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, and Reese Witherspoon, who will produce and star in the film version of the book. With Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things appearing within months of each other last year—and with both shooting straight to The New York Times bestseller list—Strayed’s success seems nothing less than meteoric. She will appear at the Nashville Public Library on April 18 at 6:15 p.m. as part of the Salon@615 series. The event is free and open to the public.

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Beyond the Blank Page

Rami Shapiro and Aaron Shapiro turn the practice of writing away from the methodical and toward the spiritual

January 25, 2013 In Writing—the Sacred Art Rabbi Rami Shapiro and his son, Aaron Shapiro, turn a beloved genre inside out. Writing as one voice to insure coherence and illustrate the constructed nature of the narrated “I,” they offer sage advice for the person who really wants to write a book but should first spend more time deconstructing the self: “The self is a story and nothing more,” they note. “By now you know that you are never the story you tell.”

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What the World Could Be

Sarah VanHooser Suiter writes about the two years she spent learning from the women of Magdalene

August 10, 2012 In her first book, Magdalene House: A Place about Mercy Sarah VanHooser Suiter, writes about the “winding journey of healing and recovery” as she researched a residential community in Nashville for women with histories of addiction and prostitution. The women of Magdalene House envision “the world that could be,” Suiter writes: “a place where people love without judgment, care for their neighbors, support one another regardless of circumstance, and defend human dignity.” Sarah VanHooser Suiter will discuss Magdalene House at the twenty-fourth annual Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

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Telling the Truth—with Hospitality

Last month Lipscomb University hosted the Christian Scholars’ Conference, and Chapter 16 has the inside story

July 16, 2012 On June 7, 2012, Lipscomb University in Nashville welcomed more than 325 scholars and participants to the thirty-first annual Christian Scholars’ Conference. Since 2007, Lipscomb has expanded the scope of the conference, opening it to broad interdisciplinary and interfaith conversation. “As far as the larger cultural dialogue, this conference is right in the middle of it,” says Kathy Pulley, professor of religion at Missouri State University and a member of the CSC board. This year Chapter 16 was on hand for three days packed with internationally recognized speakers, academic panels, and great catering.

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The Search for Meaning

Scholars Douglas Knight and Amy-Jill Levine guide readers in how to ask the right questions of the Hebrew Bible

February 16, 2012 For Douglas A. Knight and Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University professors who have collaborated on a new book called The Meaning of the Bible, “the Bible is not a book of answers. It may be, however, a book that helps its readers ask the right questions, and then provides materials that can spark diverse answers.”

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That Great American Style Icon, the King James Bible

For Robert Alter, the real rapture of the King James Bible is not in what it says but in the way it says it

November 3, 2011 In Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible, Robert Alter explores the various ways the King James Version and its assimilation into American speech have shaped the literary styles of Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, and Marilynne Robinson. Prior to his appearances on November 10 at the University of Memphis and November 11 at the 1611 Symposium at Rhodes College in Memphis, Alter answered questions from Chapter 16 about the way “a set of texts rendered in English four hundred years ago can still fire the imagination of writers who differ extremely from each other and from the Bible.”

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