Charis blows out candles on 36th year [photos]

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imageVIEW PHOTOS | Charis Books & More’s 36th Birthday Party

With the help of discounts, cake and a day-long series of authors, Charis Books & More – the feminist icon in the heart of Little Five Points – celebrated its 36th birthday on Saturday.

The comfy store informally kicked off the celebration Friday with a packed house for Nikki Giovanni. The crowd of about 60 people enjoyed a lengthy visit from Giovanni, who was in Atlanta to promote her newest poetry anthology, “The 100 Best African American Poems.”

imageThe celebration continued on Saturday with authors including Alexander T. Devereux (“Gar Fish and Long Gravy: A Memoir of a Southern Sensibility”), Susan Rebecca White (“Bound South” and “A Soft Place to Land”), Quiera Smith (“When the Walls Come Tumbling Down You Learn to Dust Around the Pain”), lesbian fiction writers Jane Vollbrect (“Detours,” “Second Verse”) and Chris Paynter (“Come Back to Me” and “Playing for First”) (bottom photo left-right), Lynn Kear (“Murder in a Buckhead Garden”) (bottom photo center) and R.J. Rahman (“Black Hair in the 21st Century”).

imageCharis is one of about 15 feminist bookstores left in the country, a sign that the continuing sour economy has taken on independent bookstores. It faced extinction in 2005 due to decreased sales in a dot-com dominated world, though that crisis was averted when the store’s extremely loyal patrons chipped in to save the day after a public call for support.

For its 35th birthday last year, the store hosted a four-day celebration that included Gloria Steinem and Beverly Guy Sheftall.

Last month, Charis hosted an evening with Alice Walker at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta.

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