Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

So Much Is Lost

The reality of life with a profoundly autistic child

Just before turning 2, Allison Moorer’s son was diagnosed with autism, later revealed to be Level 3, the most severe degree of disability. In I Dream He Talks to Me: A Memoir of Learning How to Listen, Moorer shares her hopes and fears for her son and offers an honest look at their life together. She will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 15.

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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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Murder Songs and Mountain Secrets

A story of women bound by blood and music

The Ballad of Laurel Springs, the new novel from East Tennessee native Janet Beard, follows nine generations of women in a fictional town at the base of the Smoky Mountains, weaving murder, tragedy, and heartbreak into a singular tale bound together by the power of music.

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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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Seventy-Six Pounds of Wet Hair and Poor Decisions

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

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 online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 9.

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The Whole of a Life

Bobbie Ann Mason gives her heroine a second life in Dear Ann

In her vibrant new novel, Dear Ann, Bobbie Ann Mason imagines the life that might have been for Ann Workman, a graduate student who pursues love and English literature against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s. Bobbie Ann Mason will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 9.

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