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BINDERY: Chaya Bhuvaneswar / White Dancing Elephants
November 18, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Bindery hosts a special afternoon with Chaya Bhuvaneswar for her debut story collection, White Dancing Elephants, winner of both the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize and Narrative Magazine’s Top Five Stories of the Week for 2017. Please join us!
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.
“A magnificent collection of stories that defy conventions, stereotypes, and reveal the universal complexity we all share as humans–gifted and flawed individuals, who struggle to reconcile the mixed signals of our own hearts.” – Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“Reading Chaya Bhuvaneswar is like receiving Lasik via literature–the world you return to is a little clearer and sharper for the time you’ve spent in her pages. She is a formidable talent, formally accomplished and intellectually alive.” – Anthony Marra, Whiting-award winning author of The Constellation of Vital Phenomena
“A bold, honest, often provocative first collection from a fresh new voice.” – Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation
“Bhuvaneswar’s daring mix of ancient, contemporary, and dystopic stories carries us to the heart of rarely exposed longing, loss, and the politics of violence and endurance in remarkable, elegant, heart-stopping prose.” – Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution
“White Dancing Elephants is a searing and complex collection, wholly realized, each piece curled around its own beating heart. Tender and incisive, Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a surgeon on the page; unflinching in her aim, unwavering in her gaze, and absolutely devastating in her prose. This is an astonishing debut.” – Amelia Gray, author of Isadora
“Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s debut collection maps with great assurance the intricate outer reaches of the human heart. What a bold, smart, exciting new voice, well worth listening to; what an elegant story collection to read and savor.” – Lauren Groff, author of Florida
“White Dancing Elephants is a timely stunner, a wild collection that touches on everything from motherhood, race, and privilege, to Rachael Ray and Jay Z. This book unsettles as much as it entertains. Bhuvaneswar shows an impressive range and deep emotional intelligence–this is one of those rare books that refuses to look away.” – Kelly Luce, Electric Lit
Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a practicing physician and writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, The Millions, Joyland, Large Hearted Boy, Chattahoochee Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Awl, jellyfish review, aaduna and elsewhere, with poetry in Cutthroat, sidereal, Natural Bridge, apt magazine, Hobart, Ithaca Lit, Quiddity and elsewhere. Her poetry and prose juxtapose Hindu epics, other myths and histories, and the survival of sexual harassment and racialized sexual violence by diverse women of color. In addition to the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection prize under which her debut collection White Dancing Elephants will be released on Oct 9 2018, she recently received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and a Henfield award for her writing. Her work received several Pushcart Prize anthology nominations this year as well as a Joy Harjo Poetry Contest prize. Follow her on Twitter at @chayab77 including for upcoming readings and events.
Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event with mature themes. The Bindery’s bar opens with the store at 2pm; event starts at 4pm.