Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tina Chambers

What Could and Could Not Be

A close bond between cousins is tested in Susan Beckham Zurenda’s debut novel

In Susan Beckham Zurenda’s debut novel, Bells for Eli, narrator Delia Green describes her close relationship through the years with her cousin Eli, whose family lives across the street in the small town of Green Branch, South Carolina. Their bond endures in the wake of an accident that changes both their lives forever. Zurenda will discuss Bells for Eli at The Arts Building in Chattanooga on March 2.

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Delights, Not Dollars

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s second novel in her New York Public Library series considers the true value of stories

The Story Seeker, the second entry in Nashville writer Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s New York Public Library series for middle school readers, takes place in early 1929. Its protagonist, a vivacious 11-year-old named Viviani, is a lover of stories — and a mystery-solving sleuth. Tubb will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on January 30 and at Barnes & Noble at Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga on March 24.

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Housed in a Temple of Difference

Leaf Seligman’s vivid character studies reveal the quiet desperation of carnival performers 

Through 13 linked stories, Leaf Seligman’s From the Midway creates a world apart: the tragic, broken-down world of a second-rate traveling carnival in early 20th-century America. It is a beautifully written and deeply affecting meditation on the barriers that separate us from one another and from our own deepest longings.

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A City of Women

A hotel in Paris connects the stories of three formidable women

In All the Ways We Said Goodbye, Team W — the partnership nickname of bestselling authors Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White — embarks on a third novel. This time, the connecting strand running through the engrossing stories of three formidable women living in three different time periods is a place: the Ritz hotel in Paris. The authors will appear at Novel in Memphis on January 23.

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There’s No Place Like Home

On the particular joy of visiting a beloved author’s house

I am drawn to the homes of famous writers like a wayfaring pilgrim on a lifelong literary crusade. Somehow, I manage to talk my patient husband into going along for the ride. But he doesn’t really mind. He has seen what these nerdy excursions mean to me.

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Wild Things

Chattanoogan Dave Connis examines the fallout from censorship in his new YA novel

When Clara Evans, the protagonist of Suggested Reading, shows up for the first day of her senior year in high school, the last thing she expects to do is start a revolution. The book — Chattanooga writer Dave Connis’ second young adult novel — presents readers with a complex and nuanced portrait of the consequences of censorship.

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