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Jessie Chaffee Author Event


Thursday, September 21, 2017, 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.

Program Locations:

Fully accessible to wheelchairs
Florence in Ecstasy by Jessie Chaffee

Jessie Chaffee comes to Muhlenberg to discuss and sign copies of her debut novel, Florence in Ecstasy.

In Florence in Ecstasy, a young woman arrives in Florence from Boston, knowing no one and speaking little Italian. But Hannah is isolated in a more profound way, estranged from her own identity after a bout with starvation that has left her life and body in ruins. She is determined to recover in Florence, a city saturated with beauty, vitality, and food―as well as a dangerous history of sainthood for women who starved themselves for God. 

Hannah joins a local rowing club and is drawn into Florence’s vibrant present: soccer mania, eating, drinking, sex, an insatiable insistence on life. But Hannah is also rapt by the city’s past―the countless representations of beauty, the entrenched conflicts of politics and faith, and the lore of the mystical saints, women whose ecstatic searches for meaning through denial illuminate the seduction of her own struggles. 

A vivid, visceral debut echoing the novels of Jean Rhys, Elena Ferrante, and Catherine Lacey, Florence in Ecstasy gives us an arresting new vision of a woman’s attempt to find meaning―and find herself―in an unstable world.

Learn more about Jessie Chaffee and Florence in Ecstasy at her author webpage.