Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Unspoken Prayers

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips weaves a transcendent tapestry of stories in Sleepovers

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips’ debut story collection, Sleepovers, is set in the rural northeast corner of North Carolina where she was born and raised. Steeped in the specificities of place, her characters display plainspoken charm and a desperate sense of longing. Phillips will discuss Sleepovers with George Singleton at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on September 28; will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11; and will participate in the Mirror House Reading Series, a virtual event hosted by The Porch in Nashville, on November 11.

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Making Sunshine, Nurturing Change

Acclaimed children’s author Renée Watson talks about inspiration, collaboration, and activism

Renée Watson’s Ways to Make Sunshine is the first in a new chapter book series for young readers. Watson will discuss the book at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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The Past Rising Up

Randall Kenan’s If I Had Two Wings returns to Tims Creek

In Randall Kenan’s new story collection, If I Had Two Wings, the residents of Tims Creek, North Carolina, often find themselves in bewildering circumstances, caught up in twists of fate that demand an unrehearsed response. 

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American Crow to Great White Shark

The Southern Wildlife Watcher surveys the region’s creatures

Rob Simbeck takes a close look at 36 creatures in The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist, offering readers glimpses of the mundane and the miraculous. Simbeck will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on August 31 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Seeing Other Possibilities

Julia Alvarez talks with Chapter 16 about sisterhood, global community, and living by metaphor

Award-winning author Julia Alvarez helped pave the way for other Latina writers in the U.S. with her 1991 debut novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Alvarez talks with Chapter 16 about her latest novel, Afterlife, and what it means to envision new possibilities in this troubled time. She will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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“There’s No Way to Know Which Dragonfly is My Brother”

A 14-year-old makes a difficult journey of self-discovery

Award-winning author Kacen Callender returns to middle-grade fiction with King and the Dragonflies. King is convinced that his much-loved older brother, Khalid, became a dragonfly after he died suddenly. King has to struggle through his own and his family’s grief while grappling with the nature of friendship and his questions about his sexuality. Callender will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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