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Aimee Bender in Conversation with Jessica Handler for The Butterfly Lampshade

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis is thrilled to welcome Aimee Bender in conversation with Jessica Handler (The Magnetic Girl) to celebrate The Butterfly Lampshade, the first novel in ten years from the author of the beloved New York Times bestseller The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake; a luminous, poignant tale of a mother, a daughter, mental illness, and the fluctuating barrier between the mind and the world.

On the night her single mother is taken to a mental hospital after a psychotic episode, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter, waiting to take the train to Los Angeles to go live with her aunt and uncle. There is a lovely lamp next to the couch on which she's sleeping, the shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. She drinks it before the babysitter can see.

Twenty years later, as Francie conjures her past and reduces her engagement with the world to a bare minimum, she begins to question her relationship to reality. The scenes set in Francie's past glow with the intensity of childhood perception, how physical objects can take on an otherworldly power. The question for Francie is, What do these events signify? And does this power survive childhood?

Told in the lush, lilting prose that led the San Francisco Chronicle to say Aimee Bender is "a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language," The Butterfly Lampshade is a heartfelt and heartbreaking examination of the sometimes overwhelming power of the material world, and a broken love between mother and child.

This live virtual event will take place on Crowdcast, Charis' event platform. It is free to join and requires no special app. Register here.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

AIMEE BENDER is the author of the novels The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakeer--a New York Times bestseller--and An Invisible Sign of My Own, and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable SkirtWillful Creatures, and The Color Master. Her works have been widely anthologized and have been translated into sixteen languages. Her newest novel is The Butterfly Lampshade. She lives in Los Angeles.

JESSICA HANDLER is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize and a nominee for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. The novel is one of the 2019 “Books All Georgians Should Read,” an Indie Next pick, Wall Street Journal Spring 2019 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 2019 pick, and a SIBA Okra Pick. Her memoir, Invisible Sisters, was also named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read,” and her craft guide Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss was praised by Vanity Fair magazine. She teaches creative writing and coordinates the Minor in Writing at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and lectures internationally on writing. www.jessicahandler.com.

Event address: 
online
The Butterfly Lampshade: A Novel Cover Image
$24.26
ISBN: 9780385534871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - July 28th, 2020

The first novel in ten years from the author of the beloved New York Times bestseller The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, a luminous, poignant tale of a mother, a daughter, mental illness, and the fluctuating barrier between the mind and the world


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9780385720960
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - April 19th, 2011

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair.


The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9780385492164
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - August 17th, 1999

"A collection of wistful, witty stories." --Esquire 
"Hilarious, deep and a little bit dirty." --Harper's Bazaar


The Magnetic Girl Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9781938235740
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hub City Press - September 8th, 2020

Winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize
Indie Next Pick, April 2019
One of the Atlanta Journal Constitution's "South's 10 best books of 2019"
Finalist for the Townsend Prize Books All Georgians Should Read from the Georgia Center for the Book
One of the Wall Street Journal's Spring Picks for books


Invisible Sisters: A Memoir Cover Image
$18.86
ISBN: 9780820348926
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - September 15th, 2015

When Jessica Handler was eight years old, her younger sister Susie was diagnosed with leukemia. To any family, the diagnosis would have been upending, but to the Handlers, whose youngest daughter, Sarah, had been born with a rare, fatal blood disorder, it was an unimaginable verdict.


Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss Cover Image
$16.19
ISBN: 9781250014634
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - December 10th, 2013

Braving the Fire is the first book to provide a road map for the journey of writing honestly about grief and loss.


Event Summary: 
Aimee Bender in conversation with Jessica Handler (The Magnetic Girl) to celebrate The Butterfly Lampshade, the first novel in ten years from the author of the beloved New York Times bestseller The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake.