Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Redemption Story

Free Cyntoia recounts a journey from victim to activist

At 16, Cyntoia Brown-Long was imprisoned for murdering a much older man. Her memoir, Free Cyntoia, tells the story of her awakening to her own history of abuse and her efforts to save other young women from the horrors of trafficking.

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Where I’m Coming From

Does the way we talk tell us who we are?

By the time I moved to Nashville, I had laid the groundwork to not immediately sound like I was from New Jersey, if I wanted. It also left me open to picking up a Southern inflection or two. Do I say “y’all” every now and then? Sure, I do.

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Hoffa’s Downfall

Maury Nicely offers a compelling account of Chattanooga’s biggest trial

In Hoffa in Tennessee: The Chattanooga Trial That Brought Down an Icon, Maury Nicely recounts the 1964 trial of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, which brought a national media frenzy to Tennessee.

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The Complex Odyssey of a Life

Randal O’Wain’s Meander Belt recalls a blue-collar youth

In Meander Belt, M. Randal O’Wain crafts an impressionistic self-portrait of a young man determined to escape the buzz saw of poverty and a family forever on the edge of disaster. O’Wain will discuss Meander Belt at Novel in Memphis on November 29 and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on February 14.

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America’s Cracked Mirror

In Broke, Jodie Adams Kirshner shines a light on the precarious lives in Detroit’s neglected neighborhoods

Jodie Adams Kirshner’s Broke tracks seven Detroiters in the years following the city’s 2013 bankruptcy. Kirshner will discuss Broke at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 25.

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Full of Grace

Sonja Livingston recounts her search for a missing Virgin Mary statue and her own mislaid faith

In The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion, Sonja Livingston frames a spiritual quest to rediscover the Catholic faith of her childhood with a literal search for a lost Virgin Mary statue. Livingston will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on November 24.

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