Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A New Disequilibrium

Former Nashvillian David Arnold returns to Music City to launch his third YA novel

David Arnold’s depiction of teen life is heavily seasoned with dialogue in which teens have their say—in authentic, funny voices—about the absurdities of the now. Arnold will discuss The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. He will appear in conversation with novelists Courtney J. Stevens and Jeff Zentner.

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How Much Damage Did I Do?

In Warlight, Michael Ondaatje delivers a literary mystery and a meditation on the power of memory

“In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.” Thus begins Michael Ondaatje’s newest novel, an engrossing literary mystery with echoes that hearken back to The English Patient. Ondaatje will discuss Warlight at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 19.

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The Wrong Side of History

In Varina, Charles Frazier portrays the first lady of the Confederacy as a reluctant witness

Charles Frazier’s Varina returns to the era of Cold Mountain but focuses on the Southern elite who bear the historical burden of instigating the Civil War. Frazier will discuss Varina, in conversation with novelists Paula McLain and Ann Patchett, at the Nashville Public Library on May 14.

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Trauma, Suffering, and Joy

Karen Spears Zacharias winds up her Appalachian trilogy

Karen Spears Zacharias’s Christian Bend is the final novel in a trilogy set in the small East Tennessee community of the same name. It adds new characters and plot twists to the major issues set up in the first two novels, Mother of Rain and Burdy.

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A Trio on Love and Loss

A policeman, a dancer, and a pianist triangulate in Leesa Cross-Smith’s debut novel

A fallen policeman’s survivors confront their grief and rearrange their lives in Leesa Cross-Smith’s debut novel, Whiskey & Ribbons. The author will speak at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 6.

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The Sound of the Sentence

Amy Hempel finds truth in fiction sentence by sentence

Amy Hempel’s fiction offers up an almost musical experience, one where rhythm and pulse seem to affect the reader in tandem with the goings-on of the story itself. Hempel will give a free public reading at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on April 19.

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