Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Chris Scott

Out of Many, One

Simon Winchester pays homage to the Americans who built this country’s infrastructure

October 29, 2013 In The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible, Simon Winchester lauds those who physically united a nation. The inventions and public works he describes have served to bring – and hold – together one of the largest and most diverse countries on the planet. Winchester will discuss The Men Who United the States at Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 7, 2013, at 6:30 p.m.

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Flickering Images of Truth and Lies

The ambiguous nature of cinema lies at the dark heart of Marisha Pessl’s second novel

September 5, 2013 In Night Film, Marisha Pessl convincingly imagines the duplicitous world of a movie director named Stanislas Cordova, whose infamous films terrorize viewers. In this novel loaded with deception, misperception, and outright terror, the mysterious death of Cordova’s daughter propels a journalist into the dark corners of movies and the human mind. Pessl will appear at the Nashville Public Library at 6:15 p.m. on September 12, 2013, as part of the Salon@615 series.

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Out of the Mouth of Hell

Peter Carlson recounts a Civil War drama of capture, imprisonment, and escape

August 13, 2013 Peter Carlson’s third work of history, Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey, relates the true and little-known tale of two intrepid Yankee reporters captured and imprisoned in the Confederacy. This grand tale of adventure reveals much about the Civil War without rehashing the well-worn stories of battles and leaders. It is a gloriously entertaining book that should be on the reading list of anyone curious about the underbelly of the Civil War.

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Taking Charge

Keel Hunt recalls the day Tennessee removed its governor from office

August 12, 2013 In Coup: The Day the Democrats Ousted Their Governor, Put Republican Lamar Alexander in Office Early, and Stopped a Pardon Scandal, Nashvillian Keel Hunt remembers a day in 1979 that will long stand as both a model of bipartisanship and a defense of the people’s right to honest government. Hunt will discuss Coup at the Nashville Public Library (where he will appear with journalist John Seigenthaler) on August 15, 2013, at 6 p.m.; at at Vanderbilt University (where he will appear with Senator Lamar Alexander) on September 20 at 4:30 p.m.; and at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 11-13. All events are free and open to the public.

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Connecting the Bones

Jon Jefferson and Bill Bass talk about the Body Farm, murder mysteries, and how human bodies turn into soap

August 8, 2013 The Body Farm, a two-acre plot of land in Knoxville, was founded by University of Tennessee anthropologist Bill Bass over a quarter century ago. It is now renowned as the hub of some of the most important forensic science ever done. Since 2003, Bass and writer Jon Jefferson have collaborated on two nonfiction books about Bass’s work, as well as a series of mystery novels featuring Bass’s alter-ego, Bill Brockton, which they write under the pseudonym Jefferson Bass. Jon Jefferson and Bill Bass will discuss the newest Body Farm novel at the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 11-13. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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Myth and the American Hero

Bob Thompson journeys far to untangle truth from fiction in the life of Davy Crockett

March 26, 2013 Bob Thompson’s Born on a Mountaintop: On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier is a fine example of what might be called road-trip history—the chronicle of a literal footstep-tracing journey through the life of some famous personage. That Davy Crockett spent much of his life in search of land on which he could scratch out a living makes a peripatetic narrative the perfect form for this new examination of the life and legend of an American hero.

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