Saturday, October 6, 4 p.m.
Award-winning author Chaya Bhuvaneswar will discuss her debut collection of stories, White Dancing Elephants, with journalist and author Sue Halpern.
A woman grieves a miscarriage, haunted by the Buddha's birth. An artist with schizophrenia tries to survive hatred and indifference in small-town India by turning to the beauty of sculpture and dance. Orphans in India get pulled into a strange "rescue" mission aimed at stripping their mysterious powers. A brief but intense affair between two women culminates in regret and betrayal. A boy seeks memories of his sister in the legend of a woman who weds death. And fragments of history, from child brickmakers to slaves in Renaissance Portugal, are held up in brief fictions, burnished, made dazzling and unforgettable.
In sixteen remarkable stories, Chaya Bhuvaneswar spotlights diverse women of color—cunning, bold, and resolute—facing sexual harassment and racial violence, and occasionally inflicting that violence on each other. Winner of the 2017 Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, White Dancing Elephants marks the emergence of a new and original voice in fiction and explores feminist, queer, religious, and immigrant stories with precision, drama, and compassion.
Halpern is the author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, New York Review of Books, Rolling Stone, and Condé Nast Traveler. Her latest book is the novel Summer Hours at the Robbers Library.She lives in Vermont with her husband, the writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben, and is a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College.