4:00pm - 5:30pm
Reahard Learning Gallery
Sweet Briar College is pleased to welcome Chloé Cooper Jones to campus on March 27, 2023. Cooper Jones is the author of the memoir Easy Beauty which was selected as the Sweet Briar College Common Read for 2023-24.
Cooper Jones, a philosophy professor, was born with sacral agenesis, a rare congenital condition that affects her mobility. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and a feature writer published in leading newspapers and journals. In 2020, “Fearing for His Life,” her profile of Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the killing of Eric Garner, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Feature Writing. Cooper Jones received the 2020 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant and the 2021 Howard Foundation Grant from Brown University. Both grants were in support of her 2022 memoir Easy Beauty which describes the author’s experiences—after unexpectedly becoming a mother—as she embarked on a journey across the globe to reclaim the spaces, both physical and emotional, that she’d been denied and denied herself.
Easy Beauty is a powerful, candid, moving account of the author’s journey through life in a body that is different, taking her from memories of childhood to discussions of the aesthetics of beauty, sexuality, body image, motherhood, meditations on how she is seen (or not seen), and on travels ranging from art galleries in Rome, to a Beyoncé concert in Milan, to sites of genocide in Cambodia, and more. Easy Beauty has received laudatory reviews: The New York Times named it a Notable Book of 2022; Vulture called it the “#1 Memoir of 2022;” and it made the Best Books of 2022 lists of the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time, BuzzFeed, Publishers Weekly, BookList, and the New York Public Library.
The annual Common Read provides the students, faculty, and staff of Sweet Briar with a shared experience, fosters discussion on a wide range of issues, and introduces us all to new perspectives through literature. Recent Common Read selections include Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello, Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey by Homer, Madeline Miller’s Circe, and Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work The Sixth Extinction. Copies of Easy Beauty are available to members of the Sweet Briar community. Please contact the Dean’s Office if you still need a copy.