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STL JBF Presents “Comedy, Conversation, and Courageous Women”


The 36th annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival is about to kick off (November 2-16), and the women’s special event always attracts a sellout crowd with laughter, compelling literature, and, of course, decadent desserts that you can burn off the next morning in spin class.

This year’s literary lollapalooza is no exception, featuring a Girl’s Night Out on November 4 that you don’t want to miss. “Comedy, Conversation, and Courageous Women” features a panel of three extraordinarily talented authors whose works include a fascinating biography of the world’s first female astronaut, a comic memoir about marital escapades, and another autobiography on the brutally funny side of surviving breast cancer. Let’s just say all three of these titles are worthy of the most discerning book clubs, so get ready for a night of fun.

They are Cindy Chupack, Lynn Sherr, and Geralyn Lucas.

“All three of these celebrities are passionate ambassadors for women’s causes,” says Scott Berzon, director of the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. “Their books cover comedy and serious topics as well, so guests can expect energy and more energy.”

The moderator for the night is Cindy Chupack, a screenwriter who has won three Golden Globes and two Emmys for her work as a writer/executive producer of HBO‘s Sex and the City and writer/co-executive producer of ABC‘s Modern Family.

She also worked on Everybody Loves Raymond as a writer/co-executive producer and is a humor essayist for several national magazines, including The New York Times, Real Simple, Harper’s Bazaar, People, Allure, Slate, and Glamour.

Chupack is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book and the newly released The Longest Date, so she has plenty to say when it comes to sex, dating, and marriage. In fact, her search for the perfect man inspired five seasons of scripts for Sex and The City. So if you you’re a fan of this HBO romantic sitcom, you’ll love Chupack.

Booklist calls the The Longest Date “a memoir that is alternately laugh-out-funny and surprisingly poignant. There are passages that come close to oversharing (attending a sex show together in Thailand is likely outside the milieu of most couples), but Chupack is so upfront about her emotions that she quickly becomes more an old friend than “the author” (this will resonate strongly with fans of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte).”

Even Cynthia Nixon herself, who played the redheaded character Miranda Hobbes, had this to say about the book:

“The characters on Sex and the City (for which Cindy Chupack wrote) could never wait to get together and share the most scintillating details of their romantic triumphs and tribulations. Opening Cindy’s book is like getting invited to lunch with those women—the details are keenly observed, laugh-out-loud funny and you never want the meal to end.”

Cindy Chupack Book

Back by popular demand, award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr brings us her latest book SALLY RIDE: America’s First Woman in Space, which digs deep into the personal life of a very private person who captured the nation’s attention as one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. Sherr, who appeared at the 2012 JBF with her book Swim: Why We Love the Water, is a brilliant speaker and a crowd favorite because she is passionate about the subject she investigates. For example, her 30-year friendship with Ride allows Sherr to share intimate details about this remarkable woman who rocketed into space on June 18, 1983 and changed the face of NASA and opened the door for women’s equality, particularly in the fields of math and science.  Ride died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 61, and Sherr has captured her life beautifully in this entertaining page-turner that inspires girls and women to this day.

The Booklist review states, “This is an intimate and enormously appealing biography of a fascinating woman, a triumph of research and sensitivity that lives up to tis subject and will likely move readers to tears in tis final, poignant pages.”

LYNN SHERRLynn Sherr Book

After the success of Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, author Geralyn Lucas follows up with Then Came Life: Living with Courage, Spirit, and Gratitude After Breast Cancer, will have readers in tears, from laughter and sorrow.

Cancer is no joke, but Lucas has a way of making us laugh at life’s most difficult challenges. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27 and considers wrinkles a gift because growing old means she beat her disease. In her latest book, she explores what it means to survive cancer only to face new challenges—of learning how to live with the fear of her cancer returning, domestic disappointments, and quickly outgrowing her Spanx.

Lucas is an award-winning TV producer, author, lecturer, and women’s health advocate. She is a sought-after lecturer, delivering the keynote address to the Oncology Nursing Society’s 5000-member congress and performing in the “Smart Talk Women’s Lecture Series,” a stage she shared with Tina Brown, Maya Angelou, and Isabella Rossellini.

Then Came Life is a story of surviving life: coming-of- (middle)-age escapades. Lucas explores the dissonance of facing challenges she was afraid she wouldn’t be alive to have, but also confronts them with a great sense of infectious empowerment and a hilarious voice.

Women everywhere—not just cancer survivors—will recognize themselves in this book, as Lucas harnesses her “inner cleavage” once again. For Cindy Becker, whose Platzer/Becker family co-sponsors the event, the book has personal meaning.

“I chose to sponsor this event because of Lucas’ book. As a three-year survivor, I am trying to live my life in a positive spirit. Trying new things everyday and trying to not sweat the small stuff,” says Becker.

“My mother is also a breast cancer survivor and currently in retreatment for a return of ovarian cancer. My mom is living proof that there is life after cancer! I will never forget calling her after one of her chemo treatments,. She answered the phone and asked me if she could call me back later…she was at PILATES!”

Praise for this book also comes from Delia Ephron, author of Sister Mother Husband Dog: “I love this honest, funny, and deeply emotional book. This story is about how any life crisis, not just health, reverberates for better and worse in all the years that follow, lurks and transforms marriage, children, career.  Geralyn charmed her way into my heart and took up permanent residence.”

This women’s special event on November 4 has something for everyone. So ladies bring your besties, and see you there!

geralyn lucas

Geralyn Lucas Book

“Comedy, Conversation and Courageous Women”

7:00pm Reception / 7:45pm Program  $22

RSVPs required to 314-442-3299 for the Reception.

For more information: www.stljewishbookfestival.org.