Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Finding Holmes

Michael Sims investigates the very real origins of the greatest fictional detective

With The Story of Charlotte’s Web and The Adventures of Henry Thoreau, Michael Sims invented what amounts to a new genre: the biography of a particular book. In Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, he follows literary and historical clues to identify the origins of the most famous fictional detective in the world.

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Fearless and Exacting

The new Sewanee Review will appear the end of this month, and “new” hardly begins to describe it

Novelist Adam Ross, the first new editor of The Sewanee Review since 1973, will launch the storied literary magazine’s redesign on January 31. In it, there’s enough transgression to satisfy the spirit of Tennessee Williams, whose bequest supports the Review’s publication.

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Clear-Eyed Mystic

Joy Harjo’s poems celebrate transcendence and confront fear

Acclaimed poet Joy Harjo’s most recent collection, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, delivers the exquisite mix of beauty, transcendence, and pain her work is known for. Harjo joined the creative-writing faculty at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville this year and will give a free public reading at UT’s Hodges Library on January 23 at 7 p.m.

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One Big Story

Alan Lightman talks about his Memphis memoir, Screening Room

In Screening Room, Alan Lightman—poet, novelist, and playwright—tells the story of his growing-up years in Memphis during the 1950s and ‘60s. The book centers on the family legacy of Lightman’s grandfather, a movie-palace magnate, but it is also wholly the story of Lightman himself as he struggles to understand his own place as a white, Jewish man in the segregated South.

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Pulling the Curtain Back on Literary Wizardry

The burgeoning field of Cormac McCarthy scholarship offers surprising insights

To writers and scholars who have followed his career for decades, Cormac McCarthy is as notorious for his perceived reclusiveness as for his astonishing body of work. With Cormac McCarthy’s Literary Evolution, Daniel Robert King takes a deep dive into the McCarthy Archive at Texas State University and emerges with a lucid account of McCarthy’s transition from Tennessee to the Southwest.

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Crime Capital of the World

Book excerpt: City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and The First Police Chief of Paris

Holly Tucker’s most recent nonfiction title, Blood Work, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. The Nashville author’s new work of nonfiction, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris, will be released on March 21. Today we bring you the book’s opening pages.

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