Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A New Kind of Homecoming

A woman returns to Memphis and her painful past in Learning to Speak Southern

In her second novel, Learning to Speak Southern, Lindsey Rogers Cook tells the story of a globe-trotting woman forced to come home to Memphis, where she must confront her family’s complicated past, as well as the rage she feels toward the South.

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The Story They Long For

A wonderfully devious narrator drives Mary Dixie Carter’s debut novel

Mary Dixie Carter’s suspense-filled debut thriller, The Photographer, places us in the mind and world of a successful New York City photographer named Delta Dawn.

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A Pretty Place to Die

Chris Offutt’s The Killing Hills delivers a taut, gripping Kentucky-noir thriller

Few writers today can boast of a body of work as wide-ranging and virtuosic as Chris Offutt’s. His novels and short stories bend genre and upend expectations. The Killing Hills is no exception: A taut, gripping thriller, it also draws us deep into the lives of its troubled characters with wit and compassion. Chris Offutt will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on June 17.

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Feeling No but Saying Yes

Troubled kids find a balm for pain in the love of a good dog

Luna Howls at the Moon is Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s third middle-grade novel to feature a service dog as protagonist and narrator, a charming device that works well in this case to illustrate the value of pairing therapy animals with troubled children. Tubb will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on June 15.

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Poor, Forked Animals

In The Speaking Stone, Michael Griffith considers the contingent nature of existence

In The Speaking Stone, a collection of essays, Michael Griffith ambles among the gravestones of a Cincinnati cemetery to track the subtle ways history intersects with individuals. He reminds us, in light-hearted prose, that pride and ambition lead inexorably to oblivion.

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All Kinds of Missing, All Kinds of Loss

Ashley Herring Blake pens a magical mermaid mystery about grief

In Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea, Ashley Herring Blake continues to confront the hard subjects of trauma and loss, identity and community, forgiveness and redemption — subjects she sensitively explored in her previous books for middle grade and YA readers. That she does so within the context of a magical beach-themed mermaid mystery can only be a plus for her young readers. 

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