Monday, July 26th at 6:00 pm CT · Square Books is delighted to welcome Helen Ellis (of Southern Lady Code fame) and Ariel Lawhon to the Zoom stage in celebration of Helen's latest essay collection Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light.
This event is free to attend but registration is required. Click here to RSVP.
A viciously funny, deeply felt collection of essays on friendship among grown-ass women.
When Helen Ellis and her lifelong friends arrive for a reunion on the Redneck Riviera, they unpack more than their suitcases: stories of husbands and kids; lost parents and lost jobs; powdered onion dip and photographs you have to hold by the edges; dirty jokes and sunscreen with SPF higher than they hair-sprayed their bangs senior year; and a bad mammogram. It's a diagnosis that scares them, but could never break their bond. Because women pushing fifty won't be pushed around.
In these twelve gloriously comic and moving essays, Helen Ellis dishes on married middle-age sex, sobs with a theater full of women as a psychic exorcises their sorrows, gets twenty shots of stomach bile to the neck to get rid of her double chin, and gathers up the courage to ask, "Are you there, Menopause? It's Me, Helen."
A book that reads like the best cocktail party of your life, Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light is chockablock with fabulous characters: cat-lady plastic surgeons and waterpark Adonises; bridge ladies and poker players; platinum medallion fliers and Garage Sale Swindlers; forty-year-old divorcées; fifty-year-old new moms and still-young octogenarians. Alive with the sensational humor and ferocious love for her friends that won Helen Ellis legions of fans, this book has a raw vulnerability and an emotional generosity that takes this acclaimed author to a whole new level of accomplishment.
About the Author
Helen Ellis is the author of Southern Lady Code, American Housewife and Eating the Cheshire Cat. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. You can find her on Twitter @WhatIDoAllDay and Instagram @HelenEllisAuthor.
About the Host
Ariel Lawhon is a critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, Indie Next, Costco, and Book of the Month Club selections. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and four sons. She splits her time between the grocery store and the baseball field.
"Whether she’s playing poker or second fiddle, Ellis (American Housewife) proves again she is in it to win it, with this essay collection... Unpretentious and uplifting, Ellis’s writing on friendship reads more like a conversation you’d have with your best friend than an essay by a stranger... Readers looking for a new literary pal who’s classy enough to wear pearls at the poker table, and brave enough to visit a crowded water park post-menopause, need look no further. Recommend to fans of Nora Ephron and Annabelle Gurwitch."
—Library Journal, starred
"The author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code cuts loose with uproarious observations on friendship, middle age, and her own life... This smart, sassy, page-turning collection will appeal to fans of the author’s work as well as anyone who enjoys the quick-witted jocularity of a singular Southern woman who refuses to let anything—or anyone—get her down... Darkly hilarious."
"With the ongoing pandemic, many are in need of a good laugh. Thankfully, Ellis’ essays deliver hilarity on every page, providing the perfect way to get one’s socially distanced jollies. A seasoned Manhattanite by way of Alabama, Ellis entertains with a spicy blend of good ol’-gal snark and seasoned urban savvy, disarming folks with her tongue-in-cheek Southern bellecharm and shocking the unsuspecting with her flinty, no-nonsense persona."
"Ellis... shines in this collection of essays that lovingly underscores the importance of having a circle of close friends... Charming and frank life lessons ensue... Ellis balances intimacy, humor, and directness... The result is a candid, funny reminder that one need not take life too seriously."