Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Seventy-Six Pounds of Wet Hair and Poor Decisions

Rick Bragg’s canine love story about the worst dog in the world

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Rick Bragg’s The Speckled Beauty is about finding the heart to love the most wayward and aggravating dog imaginable, who also turns out to be smart, tenacious, loyal, fearless, full of life, and just what the doctor ordered for a man who is learning new lessons about losing and letting go. Bragg will appear at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville on October 14-16.

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Secrets and Lies

J.T. Ellison channels Agatha Christie in the suspense-filled Her Dark Lies

At the wedding of the year on an exotic island off the Italian coast, a Nashville artist and the wealthy man she intends to marry become embroiled in mystery and intrigue in J.T. Ellison’s novel, Her Dark Lies. Ellison will deliver the keynote address at the Clarksville Writers Conference banquet on May 19.

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A Symphony of Listeners

Many voices harmonize in Paper Concert

Amy Wright’s Paper Concert: A Conversation in the Round compiles interviews with a variety of thinkers and artists who explore an array of topics from climate change to ketchup. Wright will deliver the Basler Chair Lecture at ETSU on March 28 and will appear at ETSU’s Bert C. Bach Written Word Initiative on April 12. She’ll also read at Knoxville’s Flying Anvil Theatre on April 10.

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The Collateral Consequences of Hubris

Ed Tarkington talks about the class conflicts at the heart of his second novel, The Fortunate Ones

Ed Tarkington’s The Fortunate Ones is a story of love and social status in the New South, where “good people can end up going to dark places when the stakes get high and they come to believe that the ends justify the means.” Tarkington will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 10.

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Radical Joy

In Alice Randall’s Black Bottom Saints, a dying man eulogizes the “Black Camelot” of mid-20th-century Detroit 

In Alice Randall’s fifth novel, Black Bottom Saints, a terminally ill columnist, club impresario, and dance school founder dictates tender hagiographies of the Black creatives who built and nurtured a thriving community in mid-20th-century Detroit. Randall will take part in the presentation of the 2021 John Egerton Prize, awarded by the Southern Foodways Alliance at an online session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 7.

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Tennessee Stormwater

Andrew Siegrist rides the winding river of the human spirit in We Imagined It Was Rain

The winner of the 2020 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, We Imagined It Was Rain is an immersive debut collection of loosely connected short stories from Tennessee native Andrew Siegrist, who will discuss the book at a virtual session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 10.

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