Bookn' with Friends

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Program Description


WPL's Bookn' with Friends book club will gather to chat about Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones at 6:30pm on Monday, May 20.

Both a Pulitzer Prize nominee and Kansas Notable Book, Easy Beauty is a memoir about art, travel, motherhood, and the search for a new way of seeing and being seen. Author Jones, a philosophy professor and journalist based in Brooklyn, New York, was raised on a Kansas farm.  The book was selected to meet the 2024 Reading Challenge topic of “autobiography or memoir.” Copies of the book are available to check out at the library’s front desk.

More on Easy Beauty from the publisher:

“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 her 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 disability, 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.