OCTOBER 2021

and year round

in partnership with the MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION

The Secret to Superhuman Strength - Alison Bechdel, Cheryl Strayed - <span class="date-display-single">05/06/2021 - 4:00pm</span>

The Secret to Superhuman Strength

05/06/2021 - 4:00pm

Crowdcast

From the author of Fun Home, a profoundly affecting graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times. Presented as part of The Loft's WordPlay in partnership with Black Mountain Institute, and Literary Arts, Alison Bechdel appeared live on Crowdcast in conversation with Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, to discuss her new book, The Secret of Superhuman Strength

 

Comics and cultural superstar Alison Bechdel delivers a deeply layered story of her fascination, from childhood to adulthood, with every fitness craze to come down the pike: from Jack LaLanne in the 60s ("Outlandish jumpsuit! Cantaloupe-sized guns!") to the existential oddness of present-day spin class. Readers will see their athletic or semi-active pasts flash before their eyes through an ever-evolving panoply of running shoes, bicycles, skis, and sundry other gear. But the more Bechdel tries to improve herself, the more her self appears to be the thing in her way. She turns for enlightenment to Eastern philosophers and literary figures, including Beat writer Jack Kerouac, whose search for self-transcendence in the great outdoors appears in moving conversation with the author’s own. This gifted artist and not-getting-any-younger exerciser comes to a soulful conclusion. The secret to superhuman strength lies not in six-pack abs, but in something much less clearly defined: facing her own non-transcendent but all-important interdependence with others.

 

Copies of The Secret to Superhuman Strength will be distributed for free to the first 150 attendees who reserve a copy. During the event, there will be a link to claim your book. Simply fill out the form and a book will be sent to you from one of our partnering bookstores. 

About Presenter Alison Bechdel

 

Alison Bechdel's cult following for her early comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For expanded wildly for her family memoirs, the best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home, adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical, and Are You My Mother?  Bechdel has been named a MacArthur Fellow and Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont, among many other honors. 

RECENT BOOK:

The Secret to Superhuman Strength

About Presenter Cheryl Strayed

 

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch. Her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

RECENT BOOK:

Wild

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