Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Serenity Gerbman

Warm, Warm Heart

Music legend Hank Williams Sr. receives special citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board

April 13, 2010 Hank Williams Sr. died too young to receive the kind of acclaim that accrues with time spent as a working artist. As a singer, a songwriter, and a musician, he was famous when alive but has become a legend since his death in 1953. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, the National Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. And now, for his unparalleled contributions to American music, the Pulitzer Prize Board has awarded a posthumous Special Citation to Williams.

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After Eudora

In an age of big-box retail and multi-ethnic migration, can a distinctly Southern literature survive?

A friend of mine spent his childhood “playing church” and arguing over whose turn it was to preach and whose to be saved. And a relative recently attended a wedding reception where the centerpiece was a whole hog, smoking away in a homemade smoker on a trailerbed still hitched to the pick-up truck. When the owner got mad about something or other, he got in and drove away, pulling the smoking hog on the trailer behind him. (More potato salad, anyone?) These stories are true, and funny, and Southern. But they are also potential fodder for some bad Southern fiction.

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Morgan's March

In Walking to Gatlinburg, Howard Frank Mosher captures both the beauty and the brutality of coming-of-age during wartime

In the way of most seventeen-year-olds, young Morgan Kinneson is certain about life. As the Civil War rages far away, his family of Vermont abolitionists holds to its beliefs by being a critical stop on the final leg of the Underground Railroad. When an elderly runaway named Jesse Moses is killed by slave hunters while under Morgan’s care, the guilt-stricken youth vows to avenge the slave’s death. Instead, he finds himself on the run from the same pack of slave hunters, protecting a rune-covered stone that Moses had slipped into his pocket. Unaware of the stone’s full significance, Morgan nonetheless recognizes the need to keep it safe. Thus begins the journey at the heart of Howard Frank Mosher‘s Walking to Gatlinburg, his beautifully written and utterly engrossing tenth novel. Mosher will discuss the book at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on March 21 at 4 p.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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The Christmas Juggernaut

Franklin novelist Donna VanLiere explains why people are nicer during the holidays—and how her faith in human nature has made her books consistent bestsellers

When Donna VanLiere writes about single mothers struggling to have Christmas for their children, or a small-town department store owner with a heart of gold, she knows whereof she speaks. The Franklin, Tennessee, writer has become the queen of Christmas with a series of holiday heart-warmers that continues with her new novel, The Christmas Secret. VanLiere will be reading from and discussing her new novel on Sunday, December 13, at 3 p.m. at Landmark Booksellers in Franklin (114 East Main St.) That day, the Lifetime network will also air a marathon of holiday films based upon earlier VanLiere books. The series will culminate in the premiere of Christmas Hope at 8 p.m.

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