Starting tonight at 6 p.m., the Charleston Library Society will host three free author lectures with the overarching theme of powerful, bad ass women telling their own stories of triumph, and the stories of those who have triumphed before them.

First up is Cinelle Barnes. In a recent CP interview, Barnes said that anyone who cracks open her memoir Monsoon Mansion, “might feel like you’re drowning a bit, but you’ll breathe in the end … I want it to feel like you’re diving into water.”

[content-1] An essayist and educator, Barnes grew up in the Philippines, experiencing both a luxury laden and trauma filled childhood. When the patina of security and comfort fades away and a monsoon wreaks havoc on her family life, Barnes must tap into her inner strength in order to survive.

Thurs. May 3, another memoirist and survivor will speak at the CLS. Heather Lyn Mann’s book, Ocean of Insight: A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope is the harrowing and often hilarious story of how Mann lived on a sailboat for six years with her husband and cat, traveling approximately 15,000 nautical miles.

A spiritual ecologist and environmental activist, Mann experienced threatening storms, the boredom of isolation, sinking ships, near collisions, a pirate scare, and more on the sea, but through it all maintained a sense of balance and bravery.

The final lecture takes place next Tues. May 8. Writer, historian, former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, award-winning journalist, and scholar-in-residence at American University Johanna Neuman will discuss her book Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote. If her resume doesn’t impress you, maybe the subject of Gilded Suffragists will: the book tells the story of the more than two hundred New York social figures — from the Belmonts to the Vanderbilts and their circle — who joined the women’s suffrage movement in the 1910s. When these glamorous socialites embraced the suffrage campaign, they became the first celebrities to endorse a political cause in the twentieth century. Like we said earlier: bad ass.

To RSVP to any of the three lectures, call (843) 723-9912 or email dreutter@charlestonlibrarysociety.org.  [location-1]

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