Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Uncovering a Forgotten Epidemic

A bizarre disease that drives some victims into fatal sleep and leaves others languishing in mental illness proves a fascinating subject for Memphis author Molly Caldwell Crosby

Epidemics of encephalitis lethargica—sleeping sickness—have long inspired literature, writes Memphis-based science author Molly Caldwell Crosby in Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains one of Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries. “Sleeping Beauty,” “Rip Van Winkle,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” are but three well-known stories written after separate outbreaks of the mysterious illness, which can cause patients to sleep for months or years, if they ever awaken at all. In Asleep, Crosby, author of the 2006 nonfiction bestseller The American Plague, has written a tale as timeless and disturbing as its fictional predecessors. Crosby will read from and sign copies of Asleep at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on March 2, and at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on March 16.

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Debunking Revolutionary War Myths

Gary Paulsen, the wildly popular and prolific children’s author, talks with Chapter 16 about his latest novel, Woods Runner

In Woods Runner, Gary Paulsen creates a tale that returns to the wilderness of his beloved Hatchet but takes it back in time to the Revolutionary War. “I wanted to dispute the mythic, clean, even antiseptic qualities in many histories, because war is never, not ever, clean,” he writes. He will read at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on March 2. Prior to the visit, he took some time to correspond by email with Chapter 16.

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A Valentine for Some Good Ol' Girls

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

Marshall Chapman and Lee Smith make it to New York for the opening of Good Ol’ Girls, Killer Nashville scores a big-name keynoter in Jeffery Deaver, Rebecca Skloot is on the third leg of her fifty-three-city book tour, Clay Risen is installed at the op-ed page of The New York Timesand on the cover of The Atlantic—and Michael Sims gives Chapter 16 a peek at his new collection of vampire stories (and there’s not a lovelorn teenager in sight).

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Diving Into Civil War History

Historian Tom Chaffin raises the H.L. Hunley and chronicles the birth of submarine warfare

Among the technological firsts of the American Civil War was an odd little boat, built by a group of dedicated entrepreneurs, that heralded the age of underwater exploration and warfare. In The H.L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy, Knoxville historian Tom Chaffin details the remarkable story of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.

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Building Momentum

Michael Connelly discusses his popular detective series, his journalism background, and the future of the book

A former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly discusses with Chapter 16 the slow death of local newspapers; his latest Harry Bosch installment, Nine Dragons; electronic books; and his popular legal-series protagonist, Mickey Haller. Connelly will speak at Currey Ingram Academy in Nashville on February 20 at 10 a.m.

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In Defense of Print

Chapter 16 talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss

For more than thirty years, David Maraniss has been a reporter for The Washington Post, winning one Pulitzer Prize for reporting and sharing in another, all while writing several bestselling and critically acclaimed nonfiction books. A witness to the technological sea changes that have engulfed traditional newspapers and, some claim, made them increasingly irrelevant, Maraniss now issues for the first time a collection of his finest newspaper stories. Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports, and Loss reminds readers why newspapers mattered in the first place. Maraniss will read from and sign the book at McNeely Pigott & Fox in Nashville on February 23.

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