Charis Books and More Logo

The World Cannot Give: Tara Isabella Burton in conversation with Sarah Rose

Event date: 
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis welcomes Tara Isabella Burton in conversation with Sarah Rose for a celebration of The World Cannot GiveThe World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world. 

The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school—and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.

When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir.

Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

Tara Isabella Burton’s debut novel, Social Creature, was named a “best book of the year” by The New York Times, Vulture, and The Guardian, and her first book of nonfiction, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, was as praised by Tim Shriver as "the most thoughtful analysis of our current spiritual crisis anywhere." Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Granta, and more. She received a doctorate in theology from Trinity College, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, in 2017.

Sarah Rose (they/them) is a journalist, musician and advocate originally from Atlanta, GA. Their reporting has been featured on NPR, PBS NewsHour, The Advocate, and Georgia Public Broadcasting. As a musician, they are the vocalist of the rock group Sarah and the Safe Word, signed to Take This to Heart Records and distributed by Warner Music. 

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.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
The World Cannot Give By Tara Isabella Burton Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781982170066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 8th, 2022

The Secret History meets The Price of Salt” (Vogue) in this “equal parts dangerous and delicious” (Entertainment Weekly) novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the members of a cultic chapel choir at a Maine boarding school—and the ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over the


Social Creature: A Novel By Tara Isabella Burton Cover Image
$16.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780525436416
Published: Anchor - June 18th, 2019

One of the Best Books of the Year:
Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Vulture
NPR

"Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn)." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times


Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World By Tara Isabella Burton Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781541762527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - January 18th, 2022

A sparklingly strange odyssey through the kaleidoscope of America's new spirituality: the cults, practices, high priests and prophets of our supposedly post-religion age. Fifty-five years have passed since the cover of Time magazine proclaimed the death of God and while participation in mainstream religion has indeed plummeted, Americans have never been more spiritually busy


Event Summary: 
The World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.