First Draft Book Club returns to First Draft Book Bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix!
Join USA Today Books Editor Barbara VanDenburgh for a discussion about May's club pick, Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones.
It's free to attend.
RSVP below or directly on Eventbrite. Get your copy of Easy Beauty here.
Join our First Draft Book Club Facebook group here
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Soul-stretching, breathtaking…A game-changing gift to readers.” —Booklist (starred review)
WHAT IS FIRST DRAFT BOOK CLUB?
From Chloé Cooper Jones—Pulitzer Prize finalist, philosophy professor, Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient—a groundbreaking memoir about disability, motherhood, and a journey to far-flung places in search of a new way of seeing and being seen.
“I am in a bar in Brooklyn, listening to two men, my friends, discuss whether my life is worth living.”
So begins Chloé Cooper Jones’s bold, revealing account of moving through the world in a body that looks different than most. Jones learned early on to factor “pain calculations” into every plan, every situation. Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis which affects both her stature and gait, her pain is physical. But there is also the pain of being judged and pitied for her appearance, of being dismissed as “less than.” The way she has been seen—or not seen—has informed her lens on the world her entire life. She resisted this reality by excelling academically and retreating to “the neutral room in her mind” until it passed. But after unexpectedly becoming a mother (in violation of unspoken social taboos about the disabled body), something in her shifts, and Jones sets off on a journey across the globe, reclaiming the spaces she’d been denied, and denied herself.
From the bars and domestic spaces of her life in Brooklyn to sculpture gardens in Rome; from film festivals in Utah to a Beyoncé concert in Milan; from a tennis tournament in California to the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh, Jones weaves memory, observation, experience, and aesthetic philosophy to probe the myths underlying our standards of beauty and desirability, and interrogates her own complicity in upholding those myths.
With its emotional depth, its prodigious, spiky intelligence, its passion and humor, Easy Beauty is the rare memoir that has the power to make you see the world, and your place in it, with new eyes.
First Draft Book Club is the official book club of First Draft Book Bar
– the coffee, beer, and wine bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix. Every month, USA Today
Books Reporter Barbara VanDenburgh picks a hot new book and hosts a guided book club discussion.