"These essays attempt to parcel out several knotted problems and suggest forms of meaningful justice... Johnson’s questions and answers are hard but necessary." -Booklist, starred review

"Johnson excels at providing critical analysis of social justice and uses a variety of works, including mythology and film, to make the case for forging ahead with mercy and compassion. Her unflinching honesty and continuous quest for answers are woven throughout each essay, forming a thread that will have readers questioning their own beliefs. This beautifully written book packs a powerful punch." -Library Journal



"Schappell's stories read like snapshots--capturing precise moments from a woman's life from a distinct perspective. Considered together, Blueprints for Building Better Girls is a treasured photo album." -Bookpage

"A hilarious, poignant achievement. . . . Schappell has an exceptional gift for bringing a vibrant, irresistible group of characters to life, making Blueprints a positively addictive read." -People

Justice and Mercy in the Age of #MeToo: Lacy M. Johnson in Conversation with Elissa Schappell

Tuesday June 11, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event


...and enjoy $10 off any purchase at our bookstore! 

"Justice is anything that makes way for joy, that makes the condition of joy a possibility again." -Lacy M. Johnson

As the pursuit of justice becomes more vocal and visible, we encounter conflicting ideas of what it actually means—imprisonment, settlement, impeachment, ostracism, death. Writers Lacy M. Johnson and Elissa Schappell will engage in a conversation inspired by Johnson’s powerful essay collection, The Reckonings. They will interrogate the numerous answers to the questions, “What does it mean to be merciful? What does it mean to get justice?”

Lacy M. Johnson’s critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side, which explores her kidnapping and rape by an intimate partner, was a finalist for the NBCC Award in Autobiography and was dubbed a best book of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and The Houston Chronicle. Since then, she has been regularly asked a single question: What she would like to have happen to her rapist? The Reckonings is Johnson’s expansive answer to that question. Ultimately, Johnson suggests that “justice is anything that makes way for joy, that makes the condition of joy a possibility again…justice means we repair instead of repeat.”

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based artist, curator, professor, and activist. Her memoir The Other Side was a 2014 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Tin House, The Los Angeles Times, Dame, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, GOOD, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University.
Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls and Use Me, which was a finalist for the PEN Hemingway award. She is a contributing editor and the Hot Type book columnist at Vanity Fair, a former senior editor of The Paris Review, and cofounder and editor-at-large of Tin House magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.