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Jan Maher: Earth As It Is
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 6:30pm
Join Jan Maher for a talk on her new novel, Earth As It Is.
ABOUT THE BOOK: It's the 1930s in Texas when Charlie Bader comes of age with urges he has struggled with since childhood and does not understand. After his new bride finds him wearing her own sexy lingerie and leaves him in disgust, he tries to move on. His efforts lead him to Chicago, where he stumbles on a community of cross-dressers and begins to attend their secret soirees. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, he volunteers for the army, serving as a dentist and trying once again to leave his obsession with soft clothes behind. Instead, his wartime experiences combined with the army's faulty record-keeping lead to his reappearance in the small town of Heaven, Indiana, as Charlene. There, Charlene opens a beauty shop where Heaven's women safely share their stories and secrets as she shampoos, clips, curls, and combs their hair. Charlene deftly manages to keep her own story hidden and her sexual desires quiet until she falls in love with a female customer and her life begins to change.
"Maher’s debut is a satisfyingly complex character study exploring gender identity in the postwar Midwest. . . . Maher deftly navigates Charlie/Charlene’s dual identities and vividly captures a complex inner struggle . . . the story is transportive."
"This novel is a strikingly original addition to the rich, burgeoning field of gender studies and is written in a deceptively simple style, never melodramatic but understated, even humble, a plain song as readable and vast as wheat fields grown to the horizon along the great American plains."
—Lex Williford, author of Macauley's Thumb
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Maher's writing credits include two novels (Earth As It Is and Heaven, Indiana), one-act plays (Ismene and Intruders) and book for educators (Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers' Theater and History in the Present Tense: Engaging Students through Inquiry and Action, which was co-authored with Douglas Selwyn). She holds a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies: Theater, Education, and Neuroscience. She is a senior scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, SUNY Plattsburgh.
DATE: Thursday, March 23rd at 6:30pm
LOCATION: Phoenix Books Burlington
ADMISSION: Tickets are $3 per person, and include a coupon for $5 off the featured book. Coupons expire at closing the evening of the event. Seating is limited.
191 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401