Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild practices radical empathy in every form
April 9, 2013 Cheryl Strayed’s ability to tell her story while inviting others to ask questions of their own lives has attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who made Wild the first pick in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, and Reese Witherspoon, who will produce and star in the film version of the book. With Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things appearing within months of each other last year—and with both shooting straight to The New York Times bestseller list—Strayed’s success seems nothing less than meteoric. She will appear at the Nashville Public Library on April 18 at 6:15 p.m. as part of the Salon@615 series. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Acclaimed scholar Randall Fuller discusses the impact of the Civil War on Walt Whitman’s poetic vision
April 4, 2013 In From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature, Randall Fuller chronicles the evolution of Walt Whitman’s poetic vision of heroic American identity. The tragedy of the war, Fuller writes, gave Whitman “a gift both precious and dangerous.” On April 11 at 7 p.m., Randall Fuller will discuss Whitman as part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Series at Rhodes College in Memphis. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Thursday, 4 April 2013
Novelist Ann Patchett takes a ride with Charlie Strobel, Nashville advocate for the homeless
by Ann Patchett
March 27, 2013 More than twenty-six years ago Charlie Strobel, a Catholic priest, conceived of a unique way to meet—if only temporarily—the Nashville homeless population’s most pressing need: a place to come in from the cold. Room in the Inn, an ecumenical network of overnight shelters housed in area churches and synagogues, opened in December 1986 with four congregations. Today the program, which runs November 1 through March 31, includes 6,000 volunteers from more than 180 congregations and provides meals and temporary shelter for up to 400 homeless guests each winter night. Last summer, novelist Ann Patchett made the rounds with Room in the Inn’s founder, Charlie Strobel. As the 2013 Room in the Inn season comes to a close, Chapter 16 is proud to publish Patchett’s essay about the experience. The piece appears in Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience, From Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero, edited by Catherine Wolff.
Published Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Bob Thompson journeys far to untangle truth from fiction in the life of Davy Crockett
by Chris Scott
March 26, 2013 Bob Thompson’s Born on a Mountaintop: On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier is a fine example of what might be called road-trip history—the chronicle of a literal footstep-tracing journey through the life of some famous personage. That Davy Crockett spent much of his life in search of land on which he could scratch out a living makes a peripatetic narrative the perfect form for this new examination of the life and legend of an American hero.
Published Monday, 25 March 2013
Poet Richard Tillinghast has written a lively, insightful guide to the ancient city of Istanbul
March 25, 2013 Richard Tillinghast is a Memphis native and dedicated wanderer who has been visiting the city of Istanbul for nearly five decades. A veteran travel writer as well as an acclaimed poet, he has penned an insightful and entertaining guide to this ancient city. An Armchair Traveller’s History of Istanbul: City of Forgetting and Remembering combines a survey of Istanbul’s past with an insider’s tour of the city today to create a fascinating book for travelers and homebodies alike.
Published Monday, 25 March 2013
Popular NPR humorist and Vanderbilt graduate Roy Blount Jr. writes a contemplation of word etymologies that is both erudite and as funny as a skunk in the parsonage
March 22, 2013 Roy Blount Jr. is one of those rare writers whose actual voice has become almost as familiar as his literary one. Most weekends, you can hear his signature blend of Georgia drawl and rapid-fire wit on the National Public Radio quiz show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and he periodically recites comical poetry and inflicts musical screeching (as founder of the fictional "Society for the Singing Impaired") on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. The Vanderbilt graduate has performed a successful off-Broadway one-man show, appeared on several network television programs, and stayed busy on the college lecture circuit. Blount will appear at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville on March 26 at 8 p.m. in the Mabry Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Friday, 22 March 2013
Chapter 16 talks with Anne Lamott about her faith, her new grandson, and why she believes kids are sometimes better off in single-parent homes
March 21, 2013 Novelist Anne Lamott has become a kind of patron saint to millions of readers, whole categories of readers, who welcome her advice on parenting, writing, faith, and recovery from addiction. Now Lamott is back, this time with her first grandparenting memoir, Some Assembly Required: A Diary of My Son’s First Son. Written with her son, Sam Lamott, who was nineteen when his child was born, Some Assembly Required is an account of the year Sam learned to be a father and Lamott learned the difficult role of a grandmother: to love recklessly and keep her mouth shut as tightly as possible. On April 3 at 6:15 p.m., Anne Lamott will discuss Some Assembly Required and her new book on faith, Help, Thanks, Wow, and at the Nashville Public Library as part of the a href="http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615/upcoming-salon615-authors/">Salon@615 series. The event is free and open to the public.
Published Thursday, 21 March 2013
Phyllis Tickle examines the Christian Emergence movement in the twenty-first century
by Tina LoTufo
March 11, 2013 Memphis writer Phyllis Tickle believes that Christianity—and specifically Protestantism in North America—is undergoing a cataclysmic shift. Buffeted by science, technology, politics, economics, and culture, the “faith of our fathers” appears to be facing obstacles undreamed of by previous generations. But according to Tickle and many other scholars, this has all happened before—several times. In The Great Emergence, newly released in paperback, Tickle examines the incredibly swift and often overwhelming changes of our own era. In her followup, Emergence Christianity, she narrows her focus to describe in detail the surprising new ways people have found of creating a church community in the twenty-first century.
Published Monday, 11 March 2013
For Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, age-old remedies hold the secret of healing broken lives
by Liz Garrigan
March 7, 2013 Becca Stevens, chaplain at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, has spent the better part of her adult life trying to help women broken by rape, forced prostitution, homelessness, addiction, and other physical and emotional trauma. In her new memoir—equal parts journal, spiritual guide, and history lesson—Stevens details her own sexual abuse and healing and how her ministry has led to the founding of Thistle Farms, a cottage enterprise run by women in the process of healing themselves. As part of the Salon@615 series, Becca Stevens will discuss and sign Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling on March 12 at 6:15 p.m. Doors open at 5:45, and the event is free.
Published Thursday, 7 March 2013
Memphis librarian Patrick O’Daniel considers the great Mississippi Valley Flood of 1927
by Ralph Bowden
March 5, 2013 Drawing on an impressive collection of sources, Memphis librarian Patrick O’Daniel has documented every aspect of the disastrous Mississippi Valley flood of 1927. His new book, When the Levee Breaks, is a condensed encyclopedia covering where the water came from, where the levees broke, who died, who was rescued, and who responded. Memphis, which mostly escaped the devastation, became the main response center for recovery, and O’Daniel uses the flood as a vehicle for examining the Mississippi Valley’s agricultural and economic condition in 1927, the pervasive racism of the time, and the politics involved in rebuilding. Patrick O’Daniel will discuss the book at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on March 9 at 2 p.m.
Published Tuesday, 5 March 2013