Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

The Call of the Tent

A writer considers the meaning of sacred space

Long before the evangelical and Pentecostal Christians of my childhood held tent revivals, my forebears built booths and tabernacles in the desert, sides open to Ruach ha-olam, Breath of the Universe that animates and sustains us, that blows life into adamah and all the creatures on Earth.

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Postcard From Paris

A new perspective on the City of Lights

This spring, I returned to Paris for the first time — with almost two decades of marriage, three kids, a freshly minted technical college diploma, and a new career in construction under my belt. The city looked very different.

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The Homeplace on the Plaza

A writer measures her life by October weekends at the Southern Festival of Books

The Southern Festival of Books is the place I came from and the place I return to, and it is the place where my literary forebears live on through the miraculous immortality of books.

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Reading My Bookcase

A bibliophile confronts her stash of unread books

My unread books had all survived several cullings, which meant that I must have repeatedly decided they were worth reading. So it seemed time to do just that.

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Far Out

A Chapter 16 writer remembers the first moon landing

I happened to be at an afternoon performance under the tent on July 20, 1969, when the conductor suddenly halted the orchestra in mid-flight, turned to the audience, and shouted in a joyful voice, “I’ve just been informed that the Americans have landed on the moon!” Then he turned to the orchestra and whipped it into the Star-Spangled Banner.

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Highway Baptism

A young hitchhiker encounters two men on a lonesome Montana road

Two cowboys in a Ford Ranchero pickup truck stop and tell me I can ride thirty miles to Missoula in the truck’s back bed. There have been no cars for nearly an hour. I think for a nanosecond. Then I take the ride.

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