The Arena: One Woman’s Story, (Lady Justice Publishing, October 2021) shares author Carol J. Chumney’s experiences as a woman in the political arena. In 1991, she gained election to the Tennessee state legislature at the age of 29. She passed landmark childcare reform, as reported in TIME magazine and the New York Times. As a veteran state legislator, experienced trial attorney, and Memphis city councilwoman, in 2007 she came within seven points of being elected the first woman mayor of Memphis.

The glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that keeps women from attaining higher positions despite their qualifications or achievements. Chumney’s story is an inside look at local and state politics that exposes this barrier. As she says, “you first have to see it to defeat it.”

The Arena: One Woman’s Story, 608 pages, 6 x 9, hardback (ISBN: 978-1-7353428-2-5), paperback (ISBN: 978-1-7353428-0-1), ebook (ISBN: 978-1-7353428-1-8) is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Ingram Sparks, Walmart, and all digital formats. New York editor Bill Thompson, who discovered both John Grisham and Stephen King, was the content editor.



“Chumney…often comes to mind for her willingness and readiness to fight for causes she believes in. ..however, [others paint]..a deeper, fuller portrait of the former legislator and city councilwoman [and mayoral candidate]: They say she is smart, articulate, and community-oriented.” Tri-State Defender, Wiley Henry, “Compassionate politics & service,” Sept. 3, 2009

Chumney is “a successful attorney,” “well-prepared,” an “effective legislator,” with a “wealth of ideas,” and “potentially a strong mayor.” Commercial Appeal editorial, Sept. 14, 2007

Carol Chumney is a “results-driven politician,” with “personal and professional ethic[s],” “personally capable of swimming with all manner of sharks.” Daily News, Andy Meek, “Can Carol Chumney Out-Shark ‘King Willie’ in Mayoral   Race?” May 4, 2007.

Chumney’s proposal to repeal a twelve year pension for elected and appointed city officials “demonstrates a degree of political courage that is in short supply in local government.” Commercial Appeal editorial, April 18, 2004.

“Few state legislators are as effective in their service to all Tennesseans as Rep. Carol Chumney…Chumney’s name will long be associated with a host of child and family issues throughout the state….She was chief architect of the legislation that dramatically changed Tennessee’s child care laws…On a wide range of issues from domestic violence to women’s health, Chumney has shown leadership and courage. She’s been a valuable asset to her party in the legislature, but she’s also had a bipartisan ability to bridge the gaps on important issues…Throughout her tenue in the legislature, lawmakers have looked to Chumney for leadership and inspiration on children’s issues. Tennessean editorial, “A champion for children,” Oct. 28, 2003.

“Chumney was one of the most accomplished lawmakers in the Shelby County delegation during her tenure. She has been the chief advocate on Capitol Hill of the state’s corrupt, and sometimes deadly system of tax-subsidized child care. She also has developed valuable expertise in such areas as early childhood education, metropolitan development and “smart growth,” and public school funding and governance..” Commercial Appeal editorial, Oct. 24, 2003.

“Representative Carol Chumney, chairwoman of the house family-affairs committee, introduced 10 separate [day care] reform bills….the pressure for change at last overwhelmed the religious, financial, and political opposition…Chumney with her victory, is nevertheless cautious about the future.” TIME Magazine, Andrew Goldstein, “It took three dead babies,” July 3, 2000.

“An advocate of women’s issues in particular, [Chumney]…successfully sponsored a variety of legislation, –ranging from the famous ‘potty parity’ bill that increased the number of restrooms for women in public arenas to a bill mandating a 48-hour stay in hospitals for newborns.” Memphis Flyer, Jackson Baker, “Defender of the City,” July 17, 1997

“[o]ne of the legislature’s bright lights” who launched the drive for ‘total quality management’ now used by the state government; helped the Church Health Center in Midtown expand volunteer health care; was instrumental in funding for Memphis Zoo improvements; gained funding for community revitalization groups; sponsored Tennessee’s first stalking law; and led creation of a registration and monitoring program for sex offenders.” Memphis Business Journal editorial, Oct. 31, 1994

” the leading crusader for women’s issues in the Tennessee General Assembly.” Johnson City Press, Jan. 19, 1994