Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

The Word from Nashville

Margaret Renkl surveys a complex, confounding region

In Graceland, at Last, Margaret Renkl provides an introduction to the contemporary South and offers a corrective to some persistent oversimplifications. Renkl will discuss her work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on February 24.

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A Modern Mother’s Surprising Secret

In The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, a daughter confronts her mother’s Dickensian childhood

Growing up, Justine Cowan struggled with her demanding, ambitious mother, Eileen, a talented pianist who claimed noble Welsh ancestry. In her memoir, The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, Cowan explores the grim truth of her mother’s origins and comes to understand their fraught relationship.

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Portrait of an Activist

Street chaplain Lindsey Krinks finds her own voice through serving the voiceless

In Praying with Our Feet, Lindsey Krinks, founder of Open Table Nashville, a nationally acclaimed interfaith nonprofit, describes her journey of integrity and faith as she embraces a calling to street chaplaincy and a ministry of healing. Krinks will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by The Porch in Nashville on March 15.

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Being Good Is Not Enough

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Archibald wrestles with his father’s legacy

In Shaking the Gates of Hell, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Archibald of The Birmingham News struggles, even anguishes, over the legacy of his father, a United Methodist minister. Archibald will discuss Shaking the Gates of Hell at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 11 at 6 p.m. CST.

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Baking Can Save You

Lisa Donovan’s memoir is never short of passion

As much a manifesto as a memoir, Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Nashville writer and pastry chef Lisa Donovan is beautifully written, fresh, and powerful — in the tradition of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Donovan will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Grief, Guilt, and Greed

Communing with the dead is good business in Helene Dunbar’s Prelude for Lost Souls

“St. Hilaire was all about guiding the living through contact with the dead,” explains 17-year-old Russ in Helene Dunbar’s new young adult novel, Prelude for Lost Souls. “We simply relayed the words of the dead to those who needed to hear them.” Russ is one of three troubled teens whose lives intersect one summer in a mysterious New York town. Dunbar will discuss the book at YA-hoo Fest, an online celebration of young adult literature hosted by the Southern Lit Alliance in Chattanooga, September 14-17.

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