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Writing in the Ruins: A conversation with Cara Hoffman and Steven Thrasher

Event date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

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

Charis welcomes authors Cara Hoffman and Steven Thrasher to discuss writing, publishing, and living in an American state in free fall; examining the importance of the stories of outsiders, and how radical and anti-authoritarian communities have stepped in where government and society have failed. 

Cara Hoffman's short fictions are brutal, surreal, hilarious, and transgressive, celebrating the sharp beauty of outsiders and the infinitely creative ways humans muster psychic resistance under oppressive conditions. The ultimate effect of these ten interconnected stories is one of invigoration and a sense of possibilities--hope for a new world extracted from the rubble of the old. RUIN is both bracingly timely and eerily timeless in its examination of an American state in free-fall, unsparing in its disregard for broken institutions while shining with compassion for all who are left in their wake.

Cara Hoffman is the author of three New York Times notable books, the most recent RUNNING was an Esquire Magazine Best Book of the Year and an Autostraddle Best Queer and Feminist Book of the Year. She has written for The New York TimesThe Paris Review, Bookforum, and Rollingstone.  A Macdowell Fellow and an Edward Albee Fellow, she has been nominated for a Folio Prize and has taught as a visiting lecturer at Oxford University. Her collection of short stories, RUIN, is forthcoming from PM Press in April. 

Steven W. Thrasher has worked as writer-at-large at the Guardian, staff writer at the Village Voice, and facilitator for the NPR StoryCorps project. His articles are regularly published in the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, Esquire, the Nation, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He’s also a former researcher for Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” He is the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting and an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University. His book The Viral Underclass, The Human toll when Inequality and Disease Collide is forthcoming from Macmillan in August.

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.

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 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 immediately.

Event address: 
Pre-Order Now Badge
Ruin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781629639291
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: PM Press - April 5th, 2022

A little girl who disguises herself as an old man, an addict who
collects dollhouse furniture, a crime reporter confronted by a talking
dog, a painter trying to prove the non-existence of god, and lovers in a
penal colony who communicate through technical drawings--these are just a
few of the characters who live among the ruins.

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250796639
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Celadon Books - August 2nd, 2022

"An irresistibly readable and humane exploration of the barbarities of class...readers are gifted that most precious of things in these muddled times: a clear lens through which to see the world."
—Naomi Klein, New York Times bestselling author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

Event Summary: 
Writing, publishing, and living in an American state in free fall; examining the importance of the stories of outsiders, and how radical and anti-authoritarian communities have stepped in where government and society have failed.