Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

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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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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Fascinated, Not Afraid

Erica Wright takes a sympathetic look at serpents in Snake

“The more reptile facilities I’ve visited and festivals I’ve attended, the more photos I’ve browsed online, the more I’ve become fascinated rather than afraid,” says Erica Wright in Snake. She shows the reptiles some love in this deeply personal and highly readable essay collection.

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Among Family

A neglected girl finds a home in Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s The War I Finally Won

The War I Finally Won is the eagerly awaited sequel to Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s Newbery Honor-winning middle-grade novel, The War That Saved My Life. Bradley will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 30.

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What Truths We Can Stomach

The Cadaver King and The Country Dentist tells the story of two flawed trial experts

In The Cadaver King and The Country Dentist, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington delve into the tangled history of two scientific “experts” in the Mississippi court system. Balko and Carrington will discuss The Cadaver King and The Country Dentist at Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 10 at 2 p.m.

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