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In Conversation with Julia Ridley Smith

February 9 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us on Thursday, February 9th at 6:00 pm for an In Conversation event with Julia Ridley Smith! She’ll be chatting about her memoir The Sum of Trifles with Emily Cinquemani, who teaches Poetry at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Smith’s wise and moving memoir in essays, The Sum of Trifles, peels back the layers of meaning surrounding specific objects her parents owned, from an eighteenth-century miniature to her father’s prosthetics. The Sum of Trifles offers up dark humor and raw feeling, mixed with an erudite streak. It’s a curious, thoughtful look at how we live in and with our material culture and how we face our losses as we decide what to keep and what to let go.

So don’t miss out on this free event!

SUMMARY

When Julia Ridley Smith’s parents died, they left behind a virtual museum of furniture, books, art, and artifacts. Between the contents of their home, the stock from their North Carolina antiques shop, and the ephemera of two lives lived, Smith faced a monumental task. What would she do with her parents’ possessions?

Smith’s wise and moving memoir in essays, The Sum of Trifles, peels back the layers of meaning surrounding specific objects her parents owned, from an eighteenth-century miniature to her father’s prosthetics. A vintage hi-fi provides a view of her often tense relationship with her father, whose love of jazz kindled her own artistic impulse. A Japanese screen embodies her mother’s principles of good taste and good manners, while an antebellum quilt prompts Smith to grapple with her family’s slaveholding legacy. Along the way, she turns to literature that illuminates how her inheritance shaped her notions of identity and purpose.

The Sum of Trifles offers up dark humor and raw feeling, mixed with an erudite streak. It’s a curious, thoughtful look at how we live in and with our material culture and how we face our losses as we decide what to keep and what to let go.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of a memoir, The Sum of Trifles (University of Georgia Press, 2021), and a short story collection, Sex Romp Gone Wrong (Blair, forthcoming, 2023). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature, Literary Matters, the New England Review, Southern Cultures, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Find her at juliaridleysmith.com and @JuliaTrifles.

Details

Date:
February 9
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

M. Judson Booksellers
130 S. Main St.
Greenville, 29601 United States
Phone:
864-603-2412