Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Writing About the Tough Stuff

J. Kasper Kramer’s debut middle grade novel celebrates the resilience of its young protagonist

Chattanooga author J. Kasper Kramer talks with Chapter 16 about her debut novel for middle grade readers, The Story That Cannot Be Told, which portrays one brave girl’s fight against injustice during the months leading up to the Romanian Revolution of 1989.

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Disappointed Idealist

Madison Smartt Bell discusses the life and work of novelist Robert Stone

In the preface to Child of Light, his biography of novelist Robert Stone, Madison Smartt Bell describes Stone as a man who “confronted the world with the bright, acidic irony of an extraordinarily perceptive, bitterly disappointed idealist.” It’s a vivid and precise summary of the complex artist who emerges in this comprehensive book. 

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The Age of Clinton

Presidential scholar Michael Nelson assesses the political landscape of the 1990s

In Clinton’s Elections, Michael Nelson provides an in-depth examination of the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, explaining how they drove the Democratic Party toward the political center and previewed our own era of extreme polarization. Nelson will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on March 15.

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Together We Can Be Custodians

Jeremy Scott talks with Chapter 16 about his second YA superhero novel, Strings

Nashvillian Jeremy Scott calls on his own experience with disability in writing The Ables, his young adult novel series. In the second installment, Strings, he pits his young protagonists against a hostile government and a sinister force.

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Mississippi Murder

Historian Trent Brown unpacks the meaning of the 1969 murder of a young girl

In Murder in McComb, Trent Brown revisits the killing of 12-year-old Tina Andrews, investigating both the crime and its larger meaning. Brown will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on February 25.   

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Smoke Across the Sea

Nan Enstad challenges myths of capitalism in Cigarettes, Inc.

The traditional portrayal of global capitalism places the white, male American entrepreneur at the center of the story. In Cigarettes, Inc., a history of the cigarette industry that spans from the U.S. South to China, Nan Enstad upends that idea. Enstad delivers the Belle McWilliams Lecture in American History at the University of Memphis on February 20.

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