Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Fighters Keep Fighting

A 12-year-old girl finds her voice in Jamie Sumner’s Tune It Out

A girl, a guitar, and a move to Nashville. With these three clues, you might think you know what Tune It Out, Jamie Sumner’s second middle-grade novel, is all about. But if you assumed 12-year-old Louise Montgomery is a rising star with a manager mom, you’d be wrong. Or at least you’d only be partially right

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More to Them Than How They Died

Allison Moorer turns family tragedy into bittersweet art


In Blood, country music artist Allison Moorer describes the circumstances that led to her parents’ murder-suicide in 1986 and the crime’s devastating effect on her and her only sibling, fellow singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne. Moorer will appear with Silas House in a virtual event hosted by The Porch in Nashville on October 28. 

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Suffering in Coal Country

Chris Hamby recounts miners’ fight for health benefits in Soul Full of Coal Dust

Soul Full of Coal Dust by Nashville native Chris Hamby exposes the coal industry’s machinations to keep miners with black lung disease from getting modest compensation. Hamby, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Home, Happiness, and Hurt

Writers of color consider what it means to belong in the South

A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South considers the varying societal access points for people of color below the Mason-Dixon line. From a broad range of perspectives, the book takes on an essential question: What does it mean to “get into” the modern South, rather than remaining an eternal tourist? Editor Cinelle Barnes, along with contributors Jennifer Hope Choi and Minda Honey, will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Doing the Work

Nikky Finney’s fifth poetry collection is an essential collage of life and art

Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, Nikky Finney’s first new collection in nearly 10 years, demonstrates how the National Book Award-winning poet continues to push herself and expand our idea of poetry’s scope. Finney will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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The Past Is Never Dead

A new memoir by Lawrence Wells pulls back the curtain on a Southern literary community

Lawrence Wells and his wife, the late Dean Faulkner Wells, had a rare view into the literary community of Oxford, Mississippi, during their nearly 40 years together. Wells recounts it all in his engaging memoir, In Faulkner’s Shadow. He’ll discuss the book at an online event hosted by Novel in Memphis on September 28.

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