Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Costly Redemption

William Gay’s Fugitives of the Heart is an homage to Twain

Times are hard for the characters who populate William Gay’s Fugitives of the Heart, the last in a string of posthumous novels pieced together by his friends from an attic full of scenes Gay left behind. For J.M. White, Sonny Brewer, and the other writers who figured out how the scenes fit together, the effort was worth it, a forensic labor of love they feel even now for a writer who died in 2012.

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The Cost of Healing

Anjali Enjeti’s The Parted Earth follows several generations of personal fallout from India’s Partition

Running through the core of Anjali Enjeti’s debut novel, The Parted Earth, is the volatile atmosphere of India’s Partition, a deadly era of violence that tore apart communities and families. Spanning generations and countries, the story examines the personal costs of starting over in the face of tragedy.

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Multiple Souths

Anjali Enjeti considers her identity in an evolving region in Southbound

In the final pages of Southbound, Anjali Enjeti’s collection of essays on identity, race, and Southern politics, the author poses one simple but thorny question that looms like a ghost over much of the work: “Who am I?”

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The Second-Chance Ranch

In Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time, desperate women seeking divorces find friendship and love

Set at a “divorce ranch” in Reno, Nevada, Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time describes the surprising, tender friendships that develop between two women looking to end their marriages and a young ranch hand who helps them transition to new lives.

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An Unbroken Thread

Poet Jesse Graves discusses his fourth collection, Merciful Days

In haunting lyric poems and traditional narratives, Jesse Graves’ Merciful Days shows us the ‘ghost-lives’ that shaped the boy learning the rough language of cows and that imprint the returning adult who walks the fence line now without his father. Graves talks with Chapter 16 about the experiences and influences that inform his work.

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